The International Federation
of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the Ukraine police assault against Maxim Kasyanov, a journalist and member of
the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine, IMTUU, on Saturday on 24th of October. The journalist, who was
organising a charity action delivering supplies to an orphanage at the time,
was beaten and arrested after showing the police his journalist card.
"This is an outrageous
attack on a union member provoked apparently for no other reason than being a
card carrying journalist" said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "The
authorities must conduct an immediate investigation into these events and prosecute
According to the IMTUU
Kasyanov was one of a group of journalists preparing a charity action
delivering fruit and vegetables to an orphanage in Donetsk. A dispute broke out when some
unidentified men tried to remove the vegetables while the police looked on.
Kasyanov appealed to police for assistance showing his card and they responded
by assaulting and arresting him. On arrival at the regional police station
Kasyanov says he was further beaten before being released without charge.
The IFJ fully supports the
campaign of its affiliate, the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine, who
protested against the violence and the lack of accountability within the police
that allows such assaults to go unpunished.
"It is this culture of
violence with impunity that created the circumstances in which Ukraine
officers were prepared to follow orders to assassinate Georgy Gongadze," said
Arne Konig, President of the European Federation of Journalists, a regional
group of the IFJ. "The Ukraine
authorities must send a clear message that they will not tolerate such
behaviour by ensuring those involved are appropriately punished."
For more information contact
the IFJ at
+32 2 235 2207
The IFJ represents over
600,000 journalists in 123 countries worldwide