Any pressure on journalists in unacceptable, says Zelensky
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said that any pressure on journalists was unacceptable.
The statement was included in his January 17 video address, according to the President's website.
"Now, about the situation with our journalists. Namely, about the surveillance over journalists. The Security Service of Ukraine has started an investigation and will look into all the details. Any pressure on journalists is unacceptable," Zelensky said.
As the IMI reported, on January 16, the head of the Bihus.Info project, Denys Bihus, recorded a statement in response to a provocative video shared on YouTube by the website "Narodna Pravda", wherein his employees negotiate the purchase of drugs and use them, and reported unlawful surveillance and wiretapping. He also announced staff changes. The phones of the Bihus.Info team were wiretapped for several months, according to Denys Bihus's second video address. He says that the leaked phone conversation recordings point to this. These conversations happened some time apart.
On January 17, the Media Movement called on President Volodymyr Zelensky to resolutely condemn the pressure campaign on independent journalists and investigators and ensure that the crimes against the media are properly investigated.
On the same day, the Security Service of Ukraine opened a case over unlawful wiretapping and video surveillance of Bihus.Info employees.
As the IMI reported, on January 15, investigative journalist Yuriy Nikolov reported an attempt at intimidation: unknown men tried to break into his apartment on January 14, scaring his mother and neighbors, and left paper notes saying "draft dodger" and "traitor" on his door. After the incident, the Telegram channel "Kartochny Ofis" posted about it, claiming that it was military servicemen trying to deliver a draft notice to the journalist. A provocative post about Yuri Nikolov was shared by the Telegram channels "Vertykal" and "Joker" at about the same time. On January 15, the Telegram channel 'Joker' posted the video of Nikolov's comment on President Volodymyr Zelensky and implied that the attack on the journalist's apartment was retaliation for his remark about the head of state.
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