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24.06.2008

Police who detained media photographers to be disciplined

   

During the “Land of Dreams” Festival on Saturday 21 June, two photographers, Mykola Tymchenko, from “Vecherniy Kyiv” a municipal newspaper, and Natalya Slipchuk, who works freelance, were detained by police officers who, it would seem, didn’t like being photographed.   They were taken to a police station and only released after signing an undertaking to return the next morning in order to go to court.  Other journalists who went with their detained colleagues and took over the throughway were informed that a  detention protocol had been drawn up under Article 165 of the Code of Administrative Offences – not obeying a police officer.  This disobedience the police officers involved saw in the journalists not having complied with the “legitimate demand” of Police Capitan Ihor Anokhin to stop photographing him.

According to Natalya Slipchuk, she was taking photos and decided to photograph the police. One of the officers began shouting “don’t take pictures of us!”. She says that she lowered her camera, but he ran up and began trying to wrench it from her. She wouldn’t let go of it, and he grabbed her by the arm and took her to a car, called five officers and said that they would be witnesses. It was only after this that he showed police ID. 

During the day on Monday it was announced that the internal inquiry which the head of the Kyiv Police Vitaly Yarema appointed had found the detention of the photo correspondents to be unlawful. An official statement read that the inquiry had found a disciplinary offence in the unwarranted detention and drawing up of a protocol. The members of the police patrol who detained the two journalists had been issued a warning regarding behaviour not in keeping with their posts, and officers in the police station had been severely reprimanded.

 

Based on reports at www.telekritika.ua and www.unian.net

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