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Freedom of Press Barometer

Data from the beginning of 2019

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1

9

56

3

15

Kharkiv journalists demand police to probe thoroughly into beating of Vadym Makaryuk. Open letter

Фото -24tv.ua

The Kharkiv journalists demand that the law enforcement agencies conduct an effective investigation into the case of beating of Vadym Makaryuk, cameraman for the news desk “ Visti” occured on June 7th in Kharkiv. Such is the meassage of the open letter signed by the journalist community in Kharkiv.

The integral text is attached herewith:

“On the evening of June 7th, at the Barabashovo shopping center in Kharkiv, a group of strong built men has brutally beaten Vadym Makaryuk, cameraman for a local news desk. He was sent to the emergency aid hospital. The physicians diagnosed hemorrhagic stroke, which occurred as a result of brain hemorrhage after beating. Now Vadym Makaryuk is in grave condition in intensive care.

We have no doubt that Vadym was beaten due to his professional activity. He was attacked, as he was fulfilling an editorial task, he was shooting on camera a row between the entrepreneurs and the administration of the Barabashovo commercial center, in which ‘the National corps” intervened. The assaulters not only beat the cameraman, but also smashed the camera and took away the card to which he shot the video.

We state that this is far from being the first incident of direct or indirect obstruction to journalistic activities in the Kharkiv region. So, in June 2016 during the meeting of residents of the building on the Danilevsky, 12 street, who gathered to complete the procedure for the registration of apartment building co-owners association, one of those present at the scene assaulted the journalist for “Nakipelo (Outburst) edition and knocked out his phone.

In May 2017, the chief physician of the Kharkiv regional clinical hospital, Bogdan Fedak, did not let take video of the TV program “Medical secrecy” to the journalist Marta Baydaka and videographer Nazar Melnyk. In July of the same year, some unknown persons set afire the car of the editor-in-chief of the Insider web-based edition Igor Rusin. In November 2018, a member of he association “Frikor” Georgiy Tarasenko disrupted in front of the police the live broadcasting of a journalist for the Newsone TV channel Sofiya Bobok on the occasion of the Day of Dignity and Freedom. In all these and many other cases, the guilty have not been brought to justice.

This does concern the most high-profile offences committed against the journalists in the Kharkiv region. For almost 9 years, remains unsolved the murder of the editor in chief of the newspaper “Novyy style” (New Style) Vasyl Klimentyev. In the case of the assault and beating of the Vikna-news program TV crew members Mariya Malevska and Oleksander Brynza in front of the Academy of Internal military forces in February 2014 , no indictment has been brought still.

We are convinced that the attack against Vadym Makaryuk is a direct consequence of the ineffectiveness of the law enforcement and judicial system in all of the above mentioned cases.

We ask everyone who has witnessed an attack on our colleague and / or who has the photo and video of the beating or the conflict which preceded it, to communicate it. We ask you to inform the police of the Kharkiv region of it and to dial 102 or (057) 705 96 82 or to contact colleague of Vadym Makaryuk, Anna Chernenko through https://www.facebook.com/ann.chernenko.12inform.

We urge all parties involved in this conflict to assist the investigators to find those who are guilty of beating Vadym Makaryuk.

We demand the National Police and the Public prosecutor’s office to provide an effective and professional investigation of this case.

We pay a special attention to the fact that the injured party disposes a video, based on which one could make conclusions on eventual suspects of this crime.

We demand from the head of the National Police Sergei Knyazev, the Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, the Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko to ensure providing by their subordinates the public reports of their subordinates on progressing and results of the investigation of this case.

We demand that the instigators and the perpetrators of this attack were brought to justice, regardless of their names and positions.

We will not let this case drop! The guilty must be punished!”

This letter is open for signing by journalists, public figures, etc.

IMI informed that Vadym Makaryuk was gravely injured while taking video of the conflict on June 7 at the Barabashovo commercial center. His condition is grave, he is in the hospital.

The investigators started criminal proceedings based on the part 2 of Art. 345-1 (“Threat or violence against the journalist”), the part 1 of Art. 171 (“Obstruction to lawful professional activities of journalists”) and the part 2 of Art. 187 (“Robbery”) of the Criminal Code. The maximum penalty under these articles is up to 10 years’ imprisonment.

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