Friday 2 December 2011

Media groups call for proper investigation into murdered and attacked journalists in the Ukraine

A petition has been presented to the Ministry of Justice in Kyiv demanding that law enforcement agencies properly investigate attacks on and the murder of journalists in the Ukraine.

The case of journalist Georgiy Gongadze who was kidnapped and murdered in 2000 is well known, but attacks on journalists and murders in the Ukraine are not a thing of the past.

Fourteen media-related organisations, including Reporters Without Borders, the Ukrainian Media Association and the organisation Stop Censorship, has collated details of numerous threats and acts of violence against journalists, including 45 murders, and is demanding more rigorous investigations to find the perpetrators.

In the last two weeks there have been three new cases:

  • The head of the satellite broadcasting company KTK, Serhiy Loboda, was found dead on the street near his garage. The company was the main broadcaster of satellite TV in the Kirov area of Luhansk, with a licence to rebroadcast 34 satellite channels. There are rumours that the murder may be connected with a possible hostile takeover bid for the channel's broadcasting rights;
  • On 29 November in Kyiv, the photojournalist Vitaliy Rozvadovskiy died from multiple stab wounds to the head. A police spokesman says that a suspect is being held and they believe that the attack was not connected to journalistic activity;
  • On 22 November, an unknown group shot at the car of Hryhoriy Kvasniuk, editor-in-chief of the Odessa city council's official newspaper, a member of the Odessa City Council, and of the political party 'Batkivshchyna'. The case is being investigated.

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