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Tuesday, 03 December 2013

IPI condemns violence against Ukraine journalists covering protests

Reports indicate over 50 targeted by security services 

Wounded Reuters photographer Gleb Garanich, who was injured by riot police, takes pictures as riot police block protesters during a scuffle at a demonstration in support of EU integration at Independence Square in Kiev on Nov. 30, 2013. Riot police in the Ukrainian capital used batons and stun grenades to disperse hundreds of pro-Europe protesters from the city's main Independence Square early on Saturday, witnesses said. REUTERS/Stringer

VIENNA, Dec 3, 2013 – The International Press Institute (IPI) and its affiliate, the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), today joined international calls demanding accountability after Ukrainian security forces reportedly beat dozens of journalists and others covering demonstrations in Kiev.

The office of OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović yesterday said that “more than 40 journalists representing national and international media outlets, including Ukrainskaya Pravda, 5 Kanal, 1+1, Euronews, Reuters, Agence France-Presse, The Associated Press [and] The New York Times, were physically assaulted and severely injured while covering the public protests” in Ukraine’s capital.

The Media Law Institute in Kiev said that more than 50 journalists across the country were assaulted and that not only were journalists attacked, but “their professional equipment – cameras and camcorders – was destroyed as well”.

IPI Press Freedom Manager Barbara Trionfi said: “We are appalled at the accounts of indiscriminate brutality, and even more so by reports that security services deliberately attacked individuals who had clearly identified themselves as journalists. We urge Ukraine’s government to hold accountable everyone involved in perpetrating such acts – from the individual officers involved to anyone in authority who ordered or allowed such violence to occur.”

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If you have any questions or would like more information about this statement, please contact IPI Senior Press Freedom Adviser Steven M. Ellis at +43 (1) 512 9011 or email sellis [at] freemedia.at.

 
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