“Stop Censorship!” statement over Presidential guard’s assault on journalist
The movement “Stop Censorship!” has demanded the dismissal of the Presidential guard who on Tuesday used force against STB journalist, Serhiy Andrushko. The latest demonstration of unlawful action against media workers is the result of impunity over previous cases.
In their statement, they stress that Serhiy Andrushko had full accreditation and was carrying out his professional duties. As reported, he was approached by a guard who refused to provide identification. When the journalist warned that he would film the incident, he was thrown to the ground. The picture can be seen here: http://www.telekritika.ua/news/2010-06-16/53671
Serhiy Andrushko says that another guard had joined in, but that they let him go when they saw they were being filmed.
“Stop Censorship!” stresses that since the guard knew that he was dealing with a journalist, an apology is not sufficient. They believe that yesterday’s incident was made possible because previous ones went unpunished. They demand that the guard’s name is made public, that he is dismissed and that a criminal investigation is initiated over obstruction of a journalist when carrying out official duties.
They also demand a check of the lawfulness of refusing to initiate criminal investigations regarding previous incidents, for example, where violence was used against journalists by law enforcement officers, and a journalist’s microphone was thrown in the bin.
On Wednesday afternoon there is a message on the President’s website stating that the guard has been suspended for the duration of the investigation. No name, nor details are provided http://www.president.gov.ua/news/17384.html