IFJ and EFJ condemn threats against journalists in Ukraine

The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) condemned today the increasing verbal and online violence against journalists in Ukraine. On 30 May 2018, Larissa Sargan, spokeswoman of the General Prosecutor of Ukraine, posted on her Facebook profile a list of 26 so-called “traitors” who criticized the law enforcement authorities after the so-called “murder” in Kyiv of Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko. The “murder” was in fact an operation in which Ukrainian security services (SBU) faked Babchenkos’s assassination. Two journalists appear in Larissa Sargan’s list of so-called traitors: Myroslava Gongadze and Sergiy Tomilenko, who is the President of the National Union…

Ukrainian security services faked Arkady Babchenko’s death

UPDATE (30/05/2018) Arkady Babchenko, the Russian journalist who was reported to have been shot dead in Kiev, has turned up alive at a news conference in Ukraine this afternoon. Vasily Gritsak, head of the Ukrainian security service, told reporters the agency had faked Babchenko’s death to catch people who were trying to kill him. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) condemns this lie and unacceptable manipulation of public opinion. Whenever subterfuge is used, journalists and media, like law-enforcement officials, have a responsibility to disclose how and why they used it and to justify their actions. The EFJ is not convinced by the…

RIA Novosti journalist held on treason allegations in Ukraine

The EFJ-IFJ has submitted the following alert to the Council of Europe’s platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists : Kyrylo Vyshynsky, a Ukrainian journalist working for Russia’s state-run news agency RIA Novotsi in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, was detained on 15 May 2018 on allegations of treason. His arrest came hours before raids by Ukrainian security service (SBU) at the news agency’s offices. According to media reports, the authorities suspected Vyshynsky, who was granted Russian citizenship in 2015 by Presidential decree, of allegedly collaborating with Ukrainian armed separatists in Eastern Ukraine. The prosecuting officials in…

OHCHR Seminar on “New Media”

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Faculty of Journalism of the National Odessa Law Academy will organise a seminar on «New Media» for the students of the journalism faculties of Southern regions of Ukraine. The EFJ GS Ricardo Gutiérrez will deliver a speech on online journalism.

Increasing violence against journalists in Ukraine

The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) just released the outcomes of its “Ukraine’s Journalists Physical Safety Index”. The situation remains worrying in the country: from January to November, NUJU registered 85 physical attacks against journalists. In 14 cases (16%), journalists were attacked by public officials, including members of the Parliament. In 8 cases, journalists were attacked by policemen or members of the State Guard. The president of NUJU, Sergiy Tomilenko, raised the issue of increasing violence during a seminar organised by the The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Odessa, on 29 November. Tomilenko…

Ukrainian journalist arrested in Belarus on spy charges

Pavlo Sharoyko, a Ukrainian Radio correspondent (Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine), was arrested in Minsk, Belarus, on 25 October 2017 by the Belarusian KGB. Sharoyko is only being allowed representation provided by Belarusian authorities, says Sergiy Tomilenko, head of Ukraine’s National Union of Journalists (NUJU). Sharoyko’s colleagues have said that the journalist was working on stories related to the search for Pavlo Hryb, a Ukrainian citizen who disappeared in Belarus after being arrested and was later found to have been sent to Russia. Sharoyko also investigated cases involving Russia’s Ukrainian political prisoners, and reported on military exercises taking place in…

There can be no press freedom where journalists work in fear, end impunity!

Impunity is when threats, attacks and crimes against journalists go unpunished. It results in a high level of fear, intimidation, censorship and self-censorship that undermines press freedom, the public right to know and leaves victims and their relatives powerless. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins the International Federation of Journalists’ (IFJ) campaign to #endimpunity, which aims at holding governments and de facto governments accountable for their impunity records and denouncing any crimes targeting journalists that remain unpunished. Murder is the highest form of these crimes but all attacks targeting journalists that remain unpunished must be denounced. In Europe, the EFJ…

Russia: EFJ and IFJ renew calls for release of Ukrainian journalist

The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) have today renewed calls for the release of Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko on the anniversary of his arrest by Russian authorities on spying charges. The IFJ/EFJ backed the demand of their affiliates, The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU), the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine (IMTUU) and Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ) for his immediate release and the condemnation of the charges against him. Working for Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform for 14 years, Sushchenko had been the agency’s correspondent in France since 2010. He was arrested on 30 September last year…

Crimea: EFJ condemns Mykola Semena’s conviction

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) condemns the conviction of Ukrainian journalist Mykola Semena by a Crimean court today. The court found him guilty on a charge of separatism and handed him a 2,5 year suspended sentence. He was also barred from “public activities”, including journalism, for three years. On 19 April 2016, FSB agents in the Russia-annexed Ukrainian region of Crimea raided the house of journalist Mykola Semena, freelancer with Krym.Realii (Criemea Realities) – RFE/RL’s Crimea service. They confiscated his reporting equipment, and briefly detained him for interrogation in connection to a criminal probe on charges of making calls to…

Russian journalist deported and banned from Ukraine

Russian journalist Anna Kurbatova was deported from Ukraine to Russia on Wednesday 30 August and barred from returning for 3 years, accused of spreading anti-Ukrainian propaganda. The EFJ and IFJ join their affiliate the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ) in condemning the deportation of Kurbatova and call on the Ukrainian authorities to lift the ban. “Russian propagandist Anna Kurbatova, whose forcible expulsion has been decided, has crossed the Ukrainian-Russian border”, said Ukrainian Secret Service (SBU) spokesperson Olena Hitlayanska. “She has been banned from entering our state for three years”. According to Russian news agencies, Kurbatova has been given an official…

Ukraine: Journalists’ union attacked by pro-government MP

The EFJ/IFJ has strongly condemned accusations by a Ukrainian MP that the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) was guilty of implementing “Russian media projects” and supporting anti-Ukrainian media. The astonishing claims came after the union opposed government raids on a prominent Ukrainian news website. The EFJ/ IFJ vowed to stand shoulder to shoulder with its affiliate in Ukraine in defending its actions in representing the country’s journalists and defending press freedom. The politician, Dymtro Tymchuk, a member of the People’s Front faction has claimed the NUJU leadership was “working against information security of the country”. He also accused…