In a letter addressed yesterday to President Petro Poroshenko, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) asked the Ukrainian president to commit to end impunity for killers and attackers of journalists.
The letter points at the blatant injustice journalists and their families face when it comes to investigating brutal violations of journalists’ rights in the country and cites several circumstances where attacks and killings of journalists have remained unpunished.
Since the beginning of 2014, eight journalists have died in Ukraine, seven while covering the war from the frontline in the East of the country, and one shot on the streets of Kiev. Many more have been arrested, threatened and attacked. The IFJ points in particular to a report issued by the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU), the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine (IMTUU), the Institute of Mass Information (IMI), the Centre of United Actions and Telekritika, which documents attacks against journalists since 2014 including 125 intimidations, 322 assaults, 162 attempts of censorship and 196 cases of impeding journalists activities. Of 54 investigations that were launched under article 115 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, only three cases have gone to court (data for the first half of 2015, Freedom of speech violations in Ukraine).
“We urge your government to dispel the impression of indifference in the face of deadly assaults against journalists.” wrote Jim Boumelha, IFJ President, and Anthony Bellanger, IFJ General Secretary: ”There is so much more that can be done with a genuine commitment to fighting impunity. It needs to start with justice, for the victims of violence”.
Ukraine is one of four countries that the IFJ has selected to focus on during its campaign to End Impunity, along with Mexico, the Philippines and Yemen.
This letter was sent as part of the IFJ global campaign to fight against impunity for crimes against journalists. To date, 35 affiliates as well as Global Unions Federations have joined the campaign.
Find more information about the IFJ campaign and the actions of our affiliates around the world here.
For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 16
The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 139 countries