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Reporters Detained At Gunpoint While Investigating Malaysian Plane Crash

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Pro-Russian militants pose on July 13, 2014 with the new Russia (novorossiya) flag in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine. Escalating clashes between pro-Kremlin separatists and Ukrainian forces today killed 12 civilians and forced the new Western-backed leader to cancel a pivotal meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the World Cup in Brazil. An AFP correspondent at the morgue in Maryinka saw the corpses of eight people killed in clashes waged outside that village just west of Donetsk yesterday | DOMINIQUE FAGET via Getty Images

Several reporters were recently detained by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine while investigating the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

The Guardian reported Monday that Paul Hansen and Jan Lewenhagen — Swedish journalists working for Dagens Nyheter — were at the morgue in Donetsk when they were detained and held in another building with seven other journalists. They were released three hours later.

Journalist Anna Nemtsova was also detained and let go. In an essay for the Daily Beast, she wrote that she and Time magazine correspondent Simon Shuster had also gone to the morgue looking for corpses from the crash, and were greeted by two gunmen when they arrived. One of them, she wrote, "said he had been commanded to grab every journalist showing up at the morgue. Journalists weren't to poke around among the bodies."

She said that rebels flashed their knives at the journalists, and blamed the United States for Ukraine's civil war.

Nemtsova noted that a BBC crew had also been detained, and reporters from Russia Today spent the night in jail. Read her entire essay here.

The plane was downed near Ukraine's border with Russia by what is believed to be a Russian missile on July 17. The tensions between Russia and Ukraine have prevented investigators from accessing the site of the crash.