OSCE weighs in against Opposition press blockage in Kiev


December 4, 2017 – Fort Russ News –

– Rusvesna, translated by Tom Winter –

“This can not be justified,” – OSCE criticizing the blocking of NewsOne in Kiev

Kiev. Blocking journalists’ access to their workplace, as in the case of the Ukrainian NewsOne television channel in Kiev, is a direct interference in the work of the media, and “nothing can justify this,” the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Arlem Desir, said.

As reported by the “Russian Spring”, on Sunday evening, unknown persons wearing balaclavas blocked the building of the Ukrainian television channel NewsOne in Kiev. 

Later they explained that they did not agree with the policies of NewsOne, and demanded an apology from Yevgeny Murayev, a Verkhovna Rada deputy and the owner of the television channel, who previously called the “Euromaidan” “a coup d’état.” 

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The TV channel blames the authorities for the blockading and considers this an attack on freedom of speech. NewsOne asked Arsen Avakov [Minister of Internal Affairs – tr] and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to protect freedom of speech from “pseudoactivists”.

“Obstruction of access to the office of the news channel is a direct interference in its work and physical intimidation of media workers. This is an unacceptable situation and an assault on the freedom of the media, which can not be justified,” Deriz said in a statement issued on Monday by the press service of the organization.

He also urged the authorities “to do everything possible to ensure respect for freedom of the press, to ensure a safe working environment for NewsOne employees, and to ensure the television company’s unhindered and free work.”

Earlier, the head of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, Sergei Tomilenko, said that he regards the situation as pressure on the media and a threat to physical security for journalists.

Earlier, he noted that the Ukrainian authorities do not provide adequate protection for journalists, but “have learned to create a beautiful image behind which impunity” of actions against the media is hidden. 

Yury Pavlenko, Verkhovna Rada deputy from the opposition bloc said that the lack of proper protection for journalists, and the harassment of media workers in Ukraine jeopardize democracy in the country.

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