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21.05.2008

Journalists not impressed

   

Ukrainian journalists have reacted immediately to the decision by the Kyiv Prosecutor to terminate the criminal investigation against Oleh Kalashnikov.  We pass on their open letter which can be signed by writing to otar.tk@gmail.com

Open letter - demand to the Prosecutor General Oleksandr Medvedko

On 12 July 2006 a group of people, among them the former National Deputy from the Party of the Regions Oleh Kalashnikov, obstructed the work of a filming crew from  the television channel STB, beating journalists and stopping the filming. On 14 July the Pechersky District Prosecutor’s Office initiated a criminal investigation into this incident under Article 171 of the Criminal Code – obstruction of the legitimate professional activities of journalists.

On 10 April 2008 the Kyiv prosecutor’s office terminated the proceedings into the case “for lack of elements of a crime”.

The journalists signing this letter are calling on the Prosecutor General to intervene in this situation and publicly report why facts so clear were ignored by the investigation unit and those guilty of beating up journalists have not been punished.

We would remind you that during the filming near the Verkhovna Rada on 12 July 2006 STB journalist Margarita Sytnyk was brutally pushed aside, camera man Volodymyr Novosad was beaten and a video cassette with footage was removed.  The Kyiv Bureau of Forensic Medicine found that the camera man had sustained medium level bodily injuries, and doctors at the Kyiv City Clinic recorded concussion. This diagnosis was later confirmed by the private clinic “Medicom”.

The material of the case was partially studied by a parliamentary investigative commission which was made up largely of representatives of the former coalition. The Deputies found there to have been elements of a crime in the actions of Oleh Kalashnikov. The overwhelming majority of parliamentarians agreed with the findings of the commission, including members of the Party of the Regions.

In July 2006 over 1000 journalists signed an open letter demanding that those responsible be punished in accordance with the law. In our view this is possible by reopening the case and submitting it to the court.

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