Politics 2022-06-15T05:32:34+03:00
Ukrainian news
Journalists Have Been Physically Assaulted 45 Times Since Early 2020 - NUJU

Journalists Have Been Physically Assaulted 45 Times Since Early 2020 - NUJU

media, journalists, National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, Serhii Tomilenko, NUJU, attacks

Journalists have been physically assaulted 45 times since the beginning of this year.

This is stated in the report of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) based on the results of the monitoring of the Physical Safety Index of Journalists of Ukraine, conducted jointly with partner public organizations, Ukrainian News Agency reports.

"In July, the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine recorded 5 cases of physical aggression against media workers. Most of the victims are television workers. In just seven months of 2020, 45 incidents with the use of force against media representatives were recorded," the statement said.

So, on July 2, in Zaporizhia, journalists from the local TV channel Z together with representatives of a public organization filmed a video about cruelty to animals.

Suddenly, one of the pensioners who were nearby reacted aggressively to the video filming and struck the video camera with a stick.

In a commentary to the NUJU, the director general of the TV channel Dmytro Velikanov said that the journalist Yana Pototska tried to stop the man, but she failed.

Cameraman Ilia Horniak felt a blow to his arm and camera, but did not receive significant injuries.

“The law enforcers did not want to open criminal proceedings, and the channel's staff insisted on this. Now the case is in court. The attacker himself has already repented, asked for forgiveness and agreed to an amicable agreement,” Velikanov notes.

On the same day, the journalist of the Ukraina TV channel Daria Melnik was injured.

In one of the cafes in Zaliznyi Port (Kherson region), its workers began pushing and expelling the journalist, accusing the media workers of being provocateurs.

The film crew spent 10 hours at the police station testifying.

Criminal proceedings were initiated on the fact of obstruction of journalistic activities.

A resonant incident took place on July 14 in Kharkiv, where the film crews of the ATN TV channel, the Objective media group, and Channel 112 covered the tragic suicide of a local woman who strangled her own son.

The journalists arrived at the scene, where they were attacked by a relative of the deceased.

First, the man attacked Yevhen Shynkarenko, cameraman of the Objective media group, hit him in the face and damaged the camera.

Then he began to threaten the journalist of the ATN TV channel and catch up with the operator Vladyslav Samoilov.

He damaged the TV channel's car, breaking two handles, a rear window wiper, a fender and a headlight.

"The journalists called the police, but the law enforcement officers' position was immediately such that we almost provoked the attack, because, they say, we want to make money on the tragedy. They did not detain the attacker and did not even take the tripod from the camera, which the operator lost while running away," Nataliya Didenko, the editor of ATN news, told.

However, the channel decided to seek a reaction from law enforcers, reached out to the leadership of the local police, after which proceedings were opened.

On the fact of the incident, criminal proceedings were opened under Part 1 of Article 185 (theft) and Article 171 (obstruction of the legitimate professional activities of journalists) of the Criminal Code.

In Lubny of Poltava region, on the night of July 29, an unknown person attacked the journalist of the Lubny TV channel Oleksandr Nazarets during the filming of a fire at a wholesale base.

The journalist was diagnosed with an injury of the face and head.

"At about two o'clock in the morning, I arrived at the site of a warehouse fire to cover the incident. I had a journalist's ID around my neck. I did not enter the site, but stopped on the street, near the fire engine. A few seconds after I turned on camera, 2 women began to shout at me. They ran up to me, began to close the camera and demand that I leave the territory. I focused on the journalist's ID, said that I was doing my professional duty and was on the street, and not on private territory. During this time, the women were joined by another man who cursed, insulted and threatened. Suddenly he hit me on the head, to which I reflexively struck back. After that he pounced on me and began to beat me. Firefighters who were nearby broke up the fight,” said the victim.

After calling the police, Nazarets went to the police station, where he wrote a statement, and then recorded the beatings in the emergency room.

Investigative actions are underway.

The NUJU condemns the use of force against media workers and notes that citizens attack journalists because they are not afraid of responsibility for their actions.

"Journalists should not be afraid to go to the scene, should not be afraid to fulfill their professional duties. In the case of incidents, our colleagues turn to the National Police and count on prompt investigations and appropriate punishments for offenders. But without precedents of punishment, new attacks cannot be stopped," the chairperson of the NUJU, Serhii Tomilenko, said.

As Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, 10 incidents involving the use of force against media representatives were recorded in June.