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US Won’t Say If It’s Helping Free American Jailed for Criticizing Ukraine

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US Won’t Say If It’s Helping Free American Jailed for Criticizing Ukraine


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us state department, ukraine, gonzalo lira, arrest, ukraine criticism

us state department, ukraine, gonzalo lira, arrest, ukraine criticism

A spokesman for the State Department admitted the agency was aware of the detention of a US citizen facing nearly a decade in a Ukrainian jail for his public criticisms of the Zelensky regime – but wouldn’t say if they plan to do anything about it.

The US State Department is refusing to say if it’s willing to negotiate with the Ukrainian regime for the release of a US citizen facing up to eight years in prison for allegedly “justifying” Russia’s special military operation.

Gonzalo Lira, a popular Chilean-American YouTube commentator based in Kharkov, was known to make videos highly critical of the Zelensky regime, which has consolidated control of the country over the past year and a half by enacting draconian laws which effectively banned opposition media and political parties.

Earlier this month, the former Business Insider contributor was arrested by Ukrainian SBU in a raid the country’s secret service publicized on social media.

According to an SBU release, in addition to being charged with “producing and distributing materials justifying” Russian operations in Ukraine, Lira is also accused of denying alleged Russian “war crimes” and “discrediting the top military and political leadership.”

If convicted, he could face up to eight years in prison.

On Thursday, when reporter Liam Cosgrove asked how the State Department feels “about our allies detaining US citizens for speech abroad,” agency spokesperson Matthew Miller said simply that “in general… we’re aware of the report.”

“We obviously support the exercise of freedom of speech anywhere in the world, and I’ll leave it at that,” Miller concluded.

But when he was asked point-blank if the State Department was “working to get [Lira] released,” the spokesperson refused to answer, telling the journalist: “I’m gonna leave my comments where I just left them.”

Cosgrove previously spoke with US Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), who said he was unaware of Lira’s plight but said “American citizens should have the ability to express their thoughts and views.” The California lawmaker said he “certainly would urge our State Department to engage their authorities.”

US Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene later told the same reporter it’s a “real problem” that the Ukrainian regime refuses to respect the speech of American citizens while taking US taxpayer money.

A photographer takes a picture of an armed man in military fatigues standing guard outside the security service (SBU) regional building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on April 23, 2014 - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.04.2022

Gonzalo Lira Case: Why Does US Keep Silent on Ukrainian Spooks Intimidating American Journo?

“America is funding and providing weapons, equipment for the defense of their country. But the Ukrainian government is not going to defend any American’s freedom of speech. And that’s a real problem. And that’s something that everyone should care about,” she said.





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