The Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović condemned today the worsening situation with media freedom and safety of journalists in areas not controlled by the Ukrainian government.
This comment followed the recent report by OSCE Chief Monitor, Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan, where among others he spoke about the limitation of freedom of expression in the region. The OSCE Chief Monitor mentioned ban of over 350 websites and restrictions against Ukrainian media outlets.
Mijatović noted that threats and intimidation of media workers along with the arrest of bloggers Eduard Nedelyaev and Gennadiy Benitskiy are particular worrying cases. She added:
Access to information, plurality of opinion and the safety of journalists continue to suffer in times of crisis. As is the case in Crimea, the ongoing deterioration of free expression and free media in conflict-affected parts of Ukraine is deeply disturbing.
The representative also noted that currently it is hard to comprehensively assess the situation with media freedom in the conflict-affected region due to the access and security obstacles.
Photo Credit : Urs Thalmann / EFJ.