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1

10

Volyn customs office conducts internal investigation of assault against “Avers” TV crew

The customs office in Volyn region has initiated an internal investigation into the incident of row involving several customs officers with a TV crew of Lutsk TV channel “Avers” that happened in the restaurant and hotel complex “Lemark”. Valentyna Chernysh, the spokesperson office of the Volyn customs, informed of it the IMI correspondent in the Volyn region.

The investigation concerns the facts of unethical behavior of customs officials, in particular, customs officers in Yagodin. The commission has to make its conclusions by May 29th.

Also, the spokesman said that the customs had sent a an inquiry letter to management of the “Avers” TV channel asking what was the reason why the went to the restaurant.

The Correspondent of IMI in the Volyn region, Maya Golub, appealed to IMI lawyer Roman Golovenko asking whether the journalistic team could go to the restaurant where the customs officers gathered for some occasion with the purpose to get some information.

Roman Golovenko noted that everything depended on the circumstances and on the goalthe journalists had. “Obviously, a person who drank can reveal more details than a sober person, and if it is question of some information of public importance, then the benefit to the TV watcher is evident. (…), “commented a lawyer.

Roman Golovenko said that journalists could come to a private party, if it is justified by the possibility of obtaining publicly important information (information on some abuses, frauds or malicious falsehood of the public, damaging the environment, etc.).

As reported by IMI, on May 8th, the customs officers applied physical force against ‘Avers” TV crew. The incident occurred when the journalists arrived on May 8th on the birthday of Oleksandr Oliyychuk, head of the Private Company “Yagodin”, at the “Lemark” restaurant and hotel complex in the village Svityaz.

The police instituted the criminal proceedings under Part 1 of Article 171 (impeding the lawful professional activity of journalists), Part 1, Article 186 (open theft of another’s property – robbery) and Part 1, Article 125 (intentional trivial injury) of the Criminal the Code of Ukraine.

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