Attacks on journalists must stop, says OSCE media freedom representative, offers to visit Ukraine
VIENNA, 22 January 2014 – OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today called on the Ukrainian authorities to halt the violence against media and thoroughly investigate all incidents involving journalists.
“I am especially alarmed that most of the journalists received injuries from stun grenades and rubber bullets used by the police during recent events,” Mijatović said in a letter to Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara. “In some cases, journalists reportedly were specifically targeted by the law enforcement despite clear identification as members of the media.”
According to reports, the cases of violence against members of the media are increasing and more than 30 journalists from various media outlets, including Novaya Gazeta, Vesti, Spilno TV, Radio Svoboda, 1+1, 5 Kanal and many others, were severely injured while fulfilling their professional duties covering public protests in Kyiv.
“Journalists’ safety must be guaranteed at all times and those responsible for the crimes against journalists must be brought to justice to prevent an environment of intimidation, fear and impunity,” Mijatović said.
Mijatović expressed her readiness to visit Kyiv to help the authorities find ways to reverse this disturbing trend.