IFJ Condemns Unprovoked Police Attack on Ukraine Journalist

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

those responsible."

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