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Ukraine: cases of abduction of journalists becoming more often in Donetsk oblast and Crimea

10.06.2014, 11:29

Between May 31 and June 6, the same number of violations in Ukraine was in the category "Physical aggression" and "Censorship. Access to public information" - 12 cases each.

15 cases of violations of freedom of speech were registered in Donetsk oblast.

Gunmen abducted Oleksandr Bryzh, an editor-in-chief of the newspaper "Donbass", and Leonid Lapa, an editor-in-chief of the newspaper "Vecherniy Donetsk". In Torez at night the main office of  the newspaper "Horniak" was burned down. In Donetsk gunmen entered and seized a publishing house. Because of the situation in Donbas the journalist Olena Povoliayeva left for Moscow along with her husband and two-month-old baby.

In Donetsk the cable operator LLC "TV and Radio Company Miske Budivnytstvo" was forced to switch off Channel 5, the First National TV channel, "Rada" and "Donbas" by order of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic. In Makiyivka, Donetsk oblast, representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic switched off Channel 5, the First National TV channel, TV channel "Rada" and "Donbas". The newspapers "Donbass" and "Vecherniy Donetsk" were closed down due to gunmen's demand to change editorial policy. The newspaper "Donetskiye novosti" temporarily suspended its publication due to tense situation in Donbas.  Upon kidnapping of two editors-in-chief of the local newspapers in Donetsk the prejudicial inquiry under Part 2 of Article 146 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (the unlawful confinement or kidnapping) was started.

 

3 cases of violations of journalists' rights were registered in Luhansk oblast.

Due to pressure from representatives of the HQ of the Army "South East" the editorial staff of the online media outlet "Segodnia in Severodonetsk" was forced to leave Severodonetsk for Kyiv.

Under pressure of the so-called Army "South East" there were some troubles with the Internet-resource "Severodonetski forumy" and "Severodonetsk online", which didn't work for several days.

In Simferopol self-defense forces abducted two employees of the online media outlet "Center of Journalist Investigations" – Serhiy Mokrushyn, editor and journalist, and Vladlen Melnykov, producer. 

As an attempt of judicial pressure on Shevket Kaibullayev, an editor-in-chief of the Crimean Tatar newspaper "Avdet", he was summoned to the prosecutor’s office in Simferopol.

 

Crimean police put pressure on Ruslan Yugosh, one of the founders of the website "Sobytiya Kryma", summoning his mother for interrogations.

In Mykolayiv pro-Russian protestors grabbed journalists’ photo cameras and forbade to take photos of them, and a masked man threatened Oleh Dereniuha, an editor of the online news media outlet "NikVesti", with physical violence. Two men right inside the building of Mykolayiv Oblast State Administration attacked Oleksandr Vlashchenko, a journalist of the online media outlet "Novosti-N", and forced him to delete all the pictures from the camera.

In Sumy the car of Olena Adamenko, a journalist of the Sumy newspaper "Dankor", was burned down.

In Vinnytsia one of the builders rudely demanded that the journalist of the newspaper "33 Kanal', who was taking pictures of the renovation works, left.

In Dnipropetrovsk Maryna Davydova, an editor of the web portal "Dnepr", received threats in the Internet.

 

For more information, please visit www.imi.org.ua and www.freedomhouse.org/ukraine-media-watch.

This report was prepared under the Media Watch Network project that IMI runs with Freedom House and the support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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