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CPJ: Police should swiftly investigate the assault of "Kolo" journalist

15.05.2023, 15:10
Photo: screenshot from the YouTube video by Svoboda Slova
Photo: screenshot from the YouTube video by Svoboda Slova

The human rights organization "Committee to Protect Journalists" is calling on the Ukrainian police to immediately investigate the assault on the "Kolo" reporter, Tetyana Tsyrulnik, which happened on May 9 near the Soldier's Glory Memorial in Poltava, where she was slapped on the face. The organization reports this on their website.

The Committee to Protect Journalists says that Ukrainian authorities should swiftly investigate the recent assault of journalist Tetyana Tsyrulnik and ensure that members of the media can work safely.

“Verbal and physical violence against journalists in the course of their work is outrageous and cannot go without consequence,” said Gulnoza Said, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, in New York. “CPJ welcomes the responsiveness of Ukrainian authorities regarding the recent attack on journalist Tetyana Tsyrulnik. Police must now swiftly investigate the case and hold the perpetrator accountable.”

The Poltava police representative told CPJ that the offender has been identified. “Physical evidence is attached to the proceedings…After the completion of the pre-trial investigation, the criminal proceedings with the indictment will be sent to the court for a decision on the punishment of the offender," the police said.

As IMI reported, on May 9, on unknown man in Poltava shoved the "Kolo" journalist and editor-in-chief, Tetiana Tsirulnik, and slapped her in the face. The incident happened during the flower laying ceremony at the Soldier's Glory Memorial.

One of the participants of ceremony arrived with a portrait of his father. The journalist, who was present there, said that the action was endorsing the Russian narratives and compared it to the pro-Russian "Immortal Regiment". Another man reacted to the debate very aggressively, first using obscene language to suggest that the journalist "gets away from here". And after the journalist protested, saying that they were in a public place that was open for everyone, the man first forcibly shoved the journalist away from the space in front of the memorial, then punched her in the face.

The Poltava police opened a case under Part 2 of Article 345-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine ("Threats or violence against a journalist").

Tetyana Tsyrulnik suffered minor injuries due to the incident.

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