The International Federation of Journalists today welcomed a statement by journalists’ leaders in the Ukraine accusing political leaders and media directors of lies, censorship and media manipulation and calling on all journalists to maintain professional standards in the wake of the Presidential election crisis.
“The government of the Ukraine and political leaders have failed the principal test of democracy by their violation of free press rights and by bullying independent journalists,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “The journalists of the Ukraine are putting it on the record that they will never allow it to happen again.”
In the statement issued by the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, the Union said that Ukraine could have organised the presidential elections in accordance with the law and international norms. Instead, says the union, the government was not up to the task and by its control and misuse of media stands accused of mass violations of people right to know the truth, which has prompted actions of civil disobedience.
While criticising the election vote-rigging, the union says: “We reserve the strongest criticism for the authorities, founders and proprietors of newspapers and TV stations which pressure and force journalists into telling lies and distorting the truth in order to manipulate society.”
The Union says journalists must be allowed to carry out their professional duties, particularly regarding the presidential elections. The Union says journalists all over the country are backing the protests around the country accusing the authorities of trying to challenge the will of the people.
“Journalists are emerging from this confrontation stronger and more determined than ever to fight for their rights,” said White. “Whatever develops in the coming days, the community of journalists is united in its demand for independent journalism and an end to political interference.”
For further information please contact +32 2 235 22 04
The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries