OSCE media freedom representative deeply troubled by continuing deterioration of journalists’ safety in Eastern Ukraine
VIENNA, 2 May 2014 – OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today renewed her call on all parties to show respect for media freedom in Ukraine following new cases of intimidation of journalists, disappearances and a violent takeover of a television station.
“On the eve of World Press Freedom Day we are witnessing journalists in Ukraine being subjected to brutal violence, kidnappings and intimidation while media outlets are repeatedly seized by armed individuals who switch off Ukrainian broadcasts to replace them with Russian ones,” Mijatović said.
Today journalists from BuzzFeed and the television channels Sky News and CBS were detained by armed individuals for three hours at a road block in Sloviansk. They were blindfolded, interrogated and some of them reportedly beaten before they were released.
Also today a lifenews.ru correspondent in Sloviansk, Hermine Kotanjyan, reportedly received death threats through social media.
On 1 May armed people entered a regional television station in Lugansk and programming was changed from the First Ukrainian National Channel to Russia 24.
On the same day a journalist of Radio Liberty was intimidated and bullied by the crowd in Kharkiv while reporting on a protest, and had to seek police protection.