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Ukraine: Murder of Journalist Underscores Threats to Free Press
In response to the murder in Kyiv of Pavel Sheremet, an award-winning independent journalist, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“The murder of Pavel Sheremet, a renowned journalist in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine, should be investigated as thoroughly and quickly as possible, to show a renewed commitment by the government of Ukraine to protect press freedom,” said Robert Herman, vice president for emergency assistance programs and multilateral advocacy. “The use of a car bomb is chilling evidence that Sheremet and press freedom were likely not accidental targets.”
On July 20, Belarusian journalist Pavel Sheremet was killed when a bomb planted underneath the car exploded while he was driving to do his regular morning show at Radio Vesti in Kyiv. Sheremet was a renowned journalist who worked for several well-regarded independent platforms in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine, including his flagship project Belarusian Partisan and Ukrainska Pravda. He was forced out of both Belarus and Russia after publicly denouncing their governments, particularly the Kremlin’s policies towards Ukraine.
Ukraine is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2016, Partly Free in Freedom of the Press 2016, Partly Free in Freedom on the Net 2015, and receives a democracy score of 4.68 on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 being the worst possible score, in Nations in Transit 2016.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.