An appeal of Kharkov journalists about Dmytro Shurkhals arrest
To the Presidential administration
To the Supreme Rada of Ukraine
To the Supreme Court of Ukraine
To the General Prosecutor of Ukraine
Copies to: mass media and human rights protection organizations
We, journalists from Kharkov, share the anxiety of our Lviv colleagues about the destiny of Dmytro Shurkhal, a special correspondent of the newspaper ‘Postup in Kyiv. On 9 March he was detained bylaw-enforcers, when he was fulfilling his professional duty. The pretext for the detainment was his taking an interview about the actions of Kyiv militia against the participant of the action ‘For truth! In the process the militiamen applied violence against the journalist, he was cruelly beaten, his documents and his professional tool -- dictaphone -- were confiscated. Thus, the law-enforcers brutally violated the Universal Declaration of human rights, the European Charter of the freedom of speech, the Ukrainian Constitution and the Law ‘On the press. On 10 March the Kharkovskiy district court of Kyiv condemned Dmytro Shurkhal to 15 days of arrest for the alleged ‘hooliganism.
Filling anxiety for the lot of our colleague we at the same time are worried by creating a juridical precedent of detaining a journalist in the process of his professional activities. We consider inadmissible creating any obstacles and persecutions in the fulfillment of duties by journalists. We demand to cancel the court decision concerning Dmytro Shurkhal and to release him immediately; besides we demand to bring public excuses before the journalist and to punish the guilty.
Signing this appeal, we express our personal attitude to the fact of the punishment of our colleague, without attempting to express the attitude of the mass media, where we work.