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They left journalists at home in order they don’t ask to many questions, - Oksana Romanyuk about denial for press to cover prisoners swap

21.04.2020, 20:45

Denial to let the journalists to cover the prisoners swap held on April 16 in Donbass is a violation of Ukrainian law, in compliance to which the Cabinet of Ministers and other authorities have to ensure the unhindered work of journalists in the period of quarantine.

The IMI Executive Director Oksana Romanyuk told it commenting the swap to Radio Liberty.

"If mass media are not allowed to cover the exchange of detainees during the quarantine,  this is a violation of Ukrainian law, which stipulates that during the quarantine, the Cabinet of Ministers and other authorities shall ensure an unhindered work of journalists. Especially since the event was held in the open terrain and so it allowed to adhere to all sanitary recommendations " Oksana Romanyuk said.

In her opinion, distrust Ukrainian authorities have towards Ukrainian journalists can nothing but harm the latter.

"There are a lot of questions, because we see that there are the lists of those whom Ukraine received from other side, but there is no official list of those who Ukraine has sent there. The I,pression  is they left the journalists at ho,e so that they could not ask too many questions. Exchange of prisoners is a social event and must be transparent and in the presence of journalists.

If we are a civilized state, the government must be held accountable in public. The right of Ukrainians to get information was violated here. We can now learn all the details from the Russian mass media that was on the exchange. This is a strategy of disaster. One should maintain communication with Ukrainian journalists. And you should not be afraid of them. If the exchange is held behind closed doors, it gives grounds for conspiracy, "Oksana Romanyuk said.

As IMI reported, the press secretary of the head of the President's Office Dasha Zarivna explained that journalists were not invited to take pictures of the exchange of prisoners which took place on April 16 in Donbass because of pandemic of the COVID-19 coronavirus and in order to comply with quarantine terms. 

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