Chilean-American blogger Gonzalo Lira, who was initially detained by Ukrainian intelligence in May for 'pro-Russian sympathies'—has reportedly been rearrested as he was trying to make his way out of Ukraine into Hungary. His crime?: publishing YouTube videos critical of the war & the US-Kiev-NATO stance.
He once again could face lengthy imprisonment, or even torture - given previous allegations which surfaced during his first detention - but he's been shunned by the Biden administration and ignored by mainstream media. So much for "democracy", free speech, and rule of law... as Lira simply doesn't have the 'correct' viewpoint on the war, and thus Washington doesn't bat an eye over his fate. Watch an entirely legitimate question on Lira from a brave reporter get ignored in the State Dept briefing room (Aug.1st)...
The Grayzone’s @cosgrove_iv asked @StateDeptSpox today about the status of Gonzalo Lira, the US citizen who was jailed by the Ukrainian govt for challenging its official narrative of the war and whose Twitter account now claims he’s making a break for the Hungarian border pic.twitter.com/kc7NY6hkdt— The Grayzone (@TheGrayzoneNews) August 1, 2023
On Tuesday, Lira posted multiple videos explaining that he was attempting to escape Ukraine to neighboring Hungary.
He was due in a Ukrainian court this week, but essentially skipped bail and tried to make it across the Western border, where he was hoping to be granted asylum. His initial apprehension on May 1st by the the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) was for "producing and disseminating materials that justified the armed aggression" of Russia. This included a piece of analysis posted to YouTube called simply 'Ukraine: A Primer".
While Lira had not been heard from in months through his typically active social media accounts, he suddenly this week began posting again and documented his ordeal, summarized in a First Post report as follows:
According to Lira, he was beaten and tortured because the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) wanted to extort his entire savings, which amounted to approximately $100,000 when considering the value of the confiscated computers and phones.
...Following his arrest, a judge ruled that he should remain in custody until the trial. Notably, in April 2022, Lira had been detained by the SBU before but was released after a week without any charges filed, likely due to public pressure.
Scenes from his first arrest and a court hearing in May, which his family and supporters called a "kangaroo court"...
Still facing potential prosecution, it seems he took his chances and fled...
Troubling posts— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 1, 2023
And there is now what appears to be an official statement from Ukraine's military, issued Wednesday, stating that he is indeed under arrest again (below).
Additionally, Mark Sleboda, an American political commentator and Navy veteran living in Russia, reported the following on Wednesday: "I can affirm that Gonzalo Lira, wanted by the Kiev Putsch regime for the crime of criticizing it (aka as 'free speech'), tried to escape the West-backed Kiev Putsch regime across the Ukrainian border into Hungary where he intended to request political asylum."
UKRAINE SENDS OUT AMERICAN TRANNY TO REVEAL THE SBU HAS ARRESTED GONZALO LIRA FROM ATTEMPTING TO SEEK ASYLUM IN HUNGARY pic.twitter.com/1pgwjxW7je— The_Real_Fly (@The_Real_Fly) August 2, 2023
"I can further affirm that Lira was stopped on the Ukrainian side of the border from crossing and has since disappeared, now for more than 24 hours," Sleboda added. "That is the last that anyone has heard from him."
Will an American in Ukraine be convicted for posting YouTube videos? And more importantly, will Washington raise any objection whatsoever over the fate of its citizen?