Journalists in Ukraine Face New Dangers
Freedom House is deeply concerned by Ukrainian authorities’ targeted violence against journalists during public protests in Kyiv – demonstrations spurred by President Viktor Yanukovych’s signing into law measures that tightly limit public protests, among other rollbacks on freedom. On January 19, as many as 200,000 people demonstrated against the new laws in Kyiv. Large crowds also gathered on January 20.
According to the Institute of Mass Information, which promotes the training of journalists in Ukraine, 26 journalists were injured by police as violence escalated during the protests. Two of the injured journalists were detained by the police. According to another group, “Stop Censorship.” several journalists asserted that police specifically targeted reporters, including firing at them with rubber bullets.
Freedom House calls on the Ukrainian government to ensure protection of journalists and press freedom and hold accountable police officers for violence.
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