IFJ Condemns Unprovoked Police Attack on Ukraine Journalist
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the Ukraine police assault against Maxim Kasyanov, a journalist and member of the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine, IMTUU, on Saturday 24 October. The journalist, who was organising a charity action delivering supplies to an orphanage at the time, was beaten and arrested after showing the police his journalist card.
"This is an outrageous attack on a union member provoked apparently for no other reason than being a card carrying journalist" said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "The authorities must conduct an immediate investigation into these events and prosecute those responsible."
According to the IMTUU Kasyanov was one of a group of journalists preparing a charity action delivering fruit and vegetables to an orphanage in Donetsk. A dispute broke out when some unidentified men tried to remove the vegetables while the police looked on. Kasyanov appealed to police for assistance showing his card and they responded by assaulting and arresting him. On arrival at the regional police station Kasyanov says he was further beaten before being released without charge.
The IFJ fully supports the campaign of its affiliate, the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine, who protested against the violence and the lack of accountability within the police that allows such assaults to go unpunished.
"It is this culture of violence with impunity that created the circumstances in which Ukraine officers were prepared to follow orders to assassinate Georgy Gongadze," said Arne Konig, President of the European Federation of Journalists, a regional group of the IFJ. "The Ukraine authorities must send a clear message that they will not tolerate such behaviour by ensuring those involved are appropriately punished."
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 123 countries worldwide