Car of journalist investigating voter bribery smashed in
On Oct. 22, unknown assailants smashed in the car of journalist Oleg Podebriy, who reports for the Transcarpathian regional newspaper RIO. Podebriy had recently conducted an investigation into voter bribery on the part of the Party of Regions candidate Vasyl Kovacs in the eastern Ukrainian city of Uzhgorod.
Following the incident, representatives of the city of Uzhhorod and Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine (IMTUU), released a statement calling on President Viktor Yanukovych to protect journalists "from lawlessness and arbitrariness on the part of the Party of Regions.
"Our appeal is an attempt to bring to you a very critical situation [concerning] freedom of speech in our region," the statement read.
As the representatives penned the statement, Podebriy interveiwed citizens and farmers of different social groups about accusations of bribery on the part of Party of Regions candidates.
"In private conversations a majority of peasants confirmed receiving money [in the amount of] $200 USD per one vote per family in favor of the candidate of the Party of Regions in the 68th majority district, Basil Kovacs," Podebriy reported to IMTUU. The journalist also said that villagers told him they'd received threats of physical harms to their families should they vote for a non-Regions candidate.
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