Report: The policy of eliminating independent journalism in Ukraine January-February 2014

  • 18.04.2014
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As a result of the events connected with the mass protests in Ukraine, in two months (January and February 2014), one journalist was killed and approx. 130 sustained wounds and injures of varying severity.

Introduction

The revolutionary events in Ukraine were characterised by three major phases of exacerbated confrontation between protesters and authorities:

• 30 November, 2013 - 1 December, 2013 – dispersal of students on Independence Square and the brutal beating of protesters near the building of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine.

• 19 January, 2014 – 22 January, 2014 – clashes on Hrushevskoho Street and the first reported fatalities of the clashes.

• 18 February, 2014 – 20 February, 2014 – the storming of Independence Square and mass shooting on protesters in the centre of Kiev.

Each of these phases was accompanied by mass violence against journalists - they were fired at with non-lethal weapons and firearms, beaten, many have suffered injuries from explosions of stun grenades and the use of tear gas. As a result, one journalist was killed, more than two hundred sustained injuries. In most cases, force against media workers was applied intentionally in order to hinder their professional activity and prevent them from reporting on the events.

Despite the fact that democratic forces have come to power in Ukraine, crimes against journalists have not been fully investigated, and the perpetrators remain unpunished.

Our previous report was dedicated to journalists who suffered during the period between 30 November, 2013 and 1 December, 2013. This report provides information on the oppression of journalists in the following two phases of exacerbated confrontation - in January and February 2014.

More on this topic: freedom of speech, Ukraine