IFJ Raises Alert Over Suspicious Attack on Journalist in Ukraine

The International Federation of Journalists today called on the Ukrainian government to

investigate the attack against a local journalist in Kiev last week and to establish whether or not it was connected to his professional work.

On 24 July, Oleg Eltsov, editor-in-chief and investigative journalist for the internet-based edition called Ukraine Criminality, was attacked by two unidentified assailants as he exited his apartment in Kiev. The attackers tried to assault Eltsov with an electric prodding device as well as a 10 kg metal tube causing him to be hospitalized.

Eltsov had written numerous articles criticising the higher echelons of Ukrainian political society. At the time of his attack, he was on his way to a court hearing regarding a critical article that he had published. In particular, he had recently written a highly controversial piece, about the Academic Dean of the Law Department of Kiev University, Mr. Andriitsev regarding the possibility that the Dean had accepted a bribe for 8000 dollars.

“The number of journalists being targeted for their legal right to freely criticize is quickly spiraling out of control in the Ukraine”, said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary.

According to the facts of the case, Darnitsky District Police in Kiev opened the proceedings under the title of “hooliganism”. The IFJ, in conjunction with its affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Ukraine, is calling on the Ukrainian authorities to take immediate action in order to prevent any further attacks.

Since the beginning of 2003, two Ukrainian journalists, Serhiy Naboka and Vladimir Efremov were killed whilst involved in reports/proceedings connected to unexplained circumstances.

Further information: + 32 2 235 22 00

The IFJ represents more than 500,000 journalists in more than 100 countries