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14.07.2010

President’s guard who attacked a journalist to remain nameless

   

The Department of State Security [UDO] has refused to name the guard who used force against TV STB journalist Serhiy Andrushko in response to a Deputy information request from Iryna Herashchenko and Olha Herasymyuk. Ms Herashchenko, who chairs the recently formed parliamentary Inquiry Commission investigating cases of censorship in the media, pressure on freedom of speech and obstruction of journalists carrying out professional activities, believes the UDO refusal is “a faulty interpretation of corporate ethics”.

“It demonstrates that members of the enforcement structures can continue to not fear public condemnation and liability for their actions”, she said.  She added that if the UDO was concerned for its reputation, then the guard who used force against a journalist would be dismissed and his name would not be concealed.

UDO had already refused to name the man to “Ukrainska Pravda” and the civil movement “Stop censorship!”

In its letter to the Deputies, the UDO claimed that all members of the Service had been told that such incidents were unacceptable. It also said that measures would be taken to ensure strict criteria when appointing and training its officers.

Iryna Herashchenko says that the Inquiry Commission has over the last week received information about over 20 cases of violations about media workers demonstrating that journalists have real problems in defending their rights. She said that these appeals would be reviewed at the next meeting of the Commission.

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