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14.08.2007

Media trade union calls for proper investigation into attack on Artem Skoropadsky

   

The Kyiv Independent Media Trade Union has demanded that a thorough investigation be carried out into the assault on Kommersant – Ukraine journalist Artem Skoropadsky. The journalist was attacked by two men yesterday who hit him on the face near the entrance to his home.

The attack coincided with the publishing of an article critical of the strong statements by Kyiv Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky against traders vending on Maidan Nezalezhnosti [Independence Square].

Artem told the Trade Union that that day he had received phone calls from the Kyiv City State Administration threatening to take him to court and demanding that he deny the statements in the article. He considers that this pressure makes it possible to connect the attack with his professional work.

The Kyiv Independent Media Trade Union stresses that neither it, nor the journalist himself, are accusing Chernovetsky of assaults on journalists. However the Union points out that there has been an increase over recent times in complaints received from journalists regarding contemptuous treatment from the City Administration.

The Trade Union calls on the Mayor and his subordinates to refrain from strong statements and behaviour directed at journalists. It also calls on the Obolonsk District Police Station to make a thorough investigation into the attack on Artem Skoropadsky and the management of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to monitor this investigation.

Over 2006 – 2007 the Kyiv Independent Media Trade Union has recorded several conflicts between the Kyiv State City Administration and media outlets.  For his “achievements” with regard to journalists, Mr Chernovetsky won the “anti-rating” award of the Media Trade Union and the Institute of Mass Information, being deemed the main “Enemy of the Press” for 2006.

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