Siege of free media in Ukraine continues, journalists remain principal target, says OSCE representative
VIENNA, 3 June 2014 – OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today condemned the continued attacks on and mistreatment of members of the media in eastern and southern Ukraine.
“The hostile media freedom environment in Ukraine remains a grave concern as the attacks on journalists continue,” Mijatović said.
On 2 June in Simferopol self-defence forces detained Sergey Mokrushin and Vladlen Melnykov, journalist and producer with the Centre for Journalistic Investigations. After being tortured for several hours, the journalists were taken to the Central District Police Unit where they were reportedly released with no charges brought on them or explanations presented for their detainment.
Also on 2 June, a group of armed men raided the offices of Donbass newspaper and Vecherniy Donetsk in Donetsk. They detained Alexander Bryzh, editor-in-chief of Donbass newspaper; Andrey Krivtsun, journalist with the same newspaper; and Leonid Lapa, editor-in-chief of Vecherniy Donetsk newspaper. The journalists were threatened and intimidated to change the editorial policy of their newspapers in favour of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic. They were released shortly after detention.
“There is no honour in silencing free and objective voices. I call on all those responsible to stop the vicious practice of harassing the messengers,” Mijatović said.
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observes media developments in all 57 OSCE participating States. She provides early warning on violations of freedom of expression and media freedom and promotes full compliance with OSCE media freedom commitments. Learn more atwww.osce.org/fom, Twitter: @OSCE_RFoM and on facebook.com/osce.rfom.