Photo credits: taken from RSF’s web-site
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is appalled by last weekend’s brutal attack on Ukrainian citizen-journalist Vadym Komarov in broad daylight in the centre of Cherkasy, a city 190 km southeast of Kyiv, as to RSF statement made public on May 7th. RSF “calls on the authorities to do their utmost to ensure that this murder attempt does not go unpunished”.
Komarov was hospitalized in a critical condition after the 4 May attack, in which he received several blows to the head. He was still in a coma yesterday and doctors were refusing to make any prognosis. The police, who say that his money and mobile phone were not taken during the attack, are treating it as a murder attempt.
“We note that the authorities lost no time in launching an investigation and we urge them to do everything possible to ensure that this horrific attack does not go unpunished,” said Johann Bihr, the head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk. “Quickly identifying its perpetrator and any instigators is the only way to dispel this murder attempt’s chilling effect.”
Although his reporting is mainly posted on Facebook, Komarov is well known in Cherkasy for his coverage of local corruption, real estate issues and administrative incompetence. His posts are often picked up by local news websites. Shots were fired at him in September 2016 and he was beaten while participating in a protest in 2017 against a company that executes public works contracts.
IMI informed On May 4th, some unknown persons beat journalist and video blogger Vadym Komarov. He is in critical condition in hospital now, the victim got open cranio-cerebral trauma. The physicians found that, the most probably, the penetrating blow would be delivered with a hammer, so the aim would be to commit murder.
At first, the police instituted the criminal proceeding on the grounds of article 121 paragraph 1st (Intentional grievous bodily harm”) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. The investigator officers have reclassified the criminal proceedings based on the fact of aggression against Vadym Komarov as an premeditated attempted murder (article 15 and 115 of the Criminal Code).
On May 6, The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, today called for an effective investigation into the attempted murder of journalist Vadim Komarov in Cherkasy, Ukraine.