Saturday, September 06, 2014

Ukraine: Stop targeting journalists, urges OSCE Representative

Source: Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

VIENNA, 5 September 2014 – Following the continued intimidation of members of the media in Ukraine, most recently a series of abductions of journalists covering the conflict in the eastern part of the country, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today again said that the attacks on journalists must stop.

“Targeting members of the media is unacceptable and must stop immediately,” Mijatović said. “Abductions remain one of the main threats against journalists, it is a horrible practice that has a grave chilling effect on independent media and it cannot be tolerated.”

According to reports, Espreso TV journalist Yegor Vorobyov was abducted near Ilovaisk, in the Donetsk region at the end of August. He was reporting from the area surrounded by separatist forces and he is still missing. Further, freelance journalist Roman Cheremsky was abducted by separatist forces in the Luhansk region on 17 August. His whereabouts remain unknown.

The Representative has repeatedly raised the issue of attacks against members of the media in eastern Ukraine, including the killings of six members of the media. Mijatović has also raised a number of cases of missing journalists, including those of Sergei Dolgov, editor of Mariupol’s Vestnik Priazovya newspaper; Yury Lelyavsky, freelance journalist with ZIK TV channel; Yevgeny Shlyakhtin and Yevgeny Tymofeyev, contributors to various Ukrainian media (see:,,, and She said her Office will continue to closely monitor these and raise all cases of detained members of the media until all journalists are free.

The Representative said she was relieved to learn that journalist Anna Ivanenko and camera operator Nazar Zotsenko, both with 112 Ukraina channel, were released on 3 September after being kept in captivity for more than two weeks by the separatists in the Luhansk region.

Mijatović also reiterated the call she made together with other international rapporteurs on freedom of expression on 1 September for better international protection for members of the media (see

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observes media developments in all 57 OSCE participating States. She provides early warning on violations of freedom of expression and media freedom and promotes full compliance with OSCE media freedom commitments. Learn more at, Twitter: @OSCE_RFoM and on

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