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Berkut beat journalists, so reporters won't be able to film protests - GPU

03.02.2017, 13:12

The Prosecutor General's Office in a letter to the National Union of Journalists of UkraineEmployees, stated that "Berkut" officers deliberately had beaten journalists to prevent them from taking photos and videos during a protest events in Kyiv, on Maidan Nezalezhnosti, in November 2013. NUJU press service stated.

Special police unit "SPU "Berkut" had abused the office by use of violence, threats of violence, use of special equipment, including batons PR and Tomfa to those present. Besided unidentified employees of "SPU" Berkut applied painful acts, and those that offend personal dignity. Through such violant acts "Berkut" pushed back those present from the Monument of Independence and the surrounding area. In the result of such actions, more than 80 people are currently established as those who suffereed from physical pain and injuries ..." - letter says.

Prosecutor General's Office also reported that questioned "Berkut" officers denied the use of measures of physical coercion. Additionally, during the pre-trial investigation, "Berkut" officers don't know officers of what presented unit showed violance.

"In the course of the preliminary investigation was established that some journalists had been taking photos and videos during events on Maidan Nezalezhnosti, for further coverage of the events. However, employees of SPU "Berkut" interfered in professional work of journalists, despite the fact that journalists showed them journalistic ID cards. SPU officers interfere in order to prevent fixation of events with involvment of "Berkut" employees, that took place at the Maidan Nezalezhnosti and Khreshchatyk Street."

The Office reports that they are collecting data on injured or aggrieved persons journalists at Maidan. They also require photo and video proofs of media workers beatings.The Special Investigations Office of GPU is carring out pre-trial investigation.

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