OSCE representative calls on Russian authorities to immediately release Ukrainian journalist
VIENNA, 21 July 2014 – OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today called on Russian authorities to immediately release Yevgeny Agarkov, a journalist with the Ukrainian 2+2 television channel.
On 18 July Agarkov was arrested by authorities in Voronezh in southeast Russia for working in the country without an accreditation issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry. A district court found Agarkov guilty of working illegally in Russia and assessed an administrative fine of 2,000 roubles (approximately €42) and ordered his expulsion from the country. Agarkov is in custody at the immigration detention centre near Voronezh since 18 July.
“I call on the authorities to immediately release Agarkov and refrain from such disproportionally restrictive measures in the future,” Mijatović said. “This decision is excessive and it essentially bans the journalist from reporting.”
“Accreditation should not be, in effect, a work permit, so that the failure to obtain this bars journalists from fulfilling their professional duties,” she said.
Agarkov was in Voronezh to cover the case of detained Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko.
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.