Comment by the Information and Press Department on unpunished crimes against journalists in Ukraine

Wednesday, 30 May 2018 14:38

The murder of Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko has become yet another tragic illustration of the horrible record on the physical violence against media representatives. Crimes against journalists invariably go unpunished, having turned into a frightening routine.

Up until now there has been no progress in the investigation of the murders of journalists Anatoly Klyan, Anton Voloshin, Igor Kornelyuk, Andrey Stenin, Andrea Rocelli, Oles Buzina, Sergey Dolgov, Vyacheslav Veremiya and Pavel Sheremet, to name a few. At the same time, journalists continue to be subjected to physical violence in Ukraine. According to Ukraine’s National Union of Journalists, from January to March of this year journalists were attacked 21 times, and in 2017 85 cases of beatings were recorded. All this is being encouraged by Kiev that has long embarked on a road of persecuting the media and suppressing dissent.

We consider the prompt response of OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir to the barbarous act of violence against Babchenko justified. We urge the OSCE, UNESCO, special reporters of the UN Human Rights Council and the entire international human rights community to step up their efforts on compelling the Ukrainian authorities to take effective measures to ensure the physical security of journalists and protect their rights, as well as to observe Ukraine’s international legal commitments on the freedom of expression.

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