Another assault on freedom of speech under the pretext of “investigative activities”
On Thursday from 10 a.m. supposedly “investigative activities” were carried out in a building on Sumska St which houses, among others, the editorial office of the Internet publication “Glavnoye”. Despite the fact that the search of the Glavnoye office was completed around midday, journalists were prohibited from leaving the office for at least 10 hours. They were told they couldn’t leave until the “investigative activities” ended, and warned that force would be used if they tried.
Publication of the latest issue of the Glavnoye newspaper scheduled for Saturday is in question.
Member of the Kharkiv Human Rights Group, Inna Zakharova announced at a briefing outside the Glavnoye premises, that the treatment of the Glavnoye journalists was akin to torture.
She stated the KHPG finds violations of legislation in the actions of the Kharkiv Department for Fighting Organized Crime, including the Law on Information, the Civil and Civil Procedure Codes.
“We confirm that in breach of all existing norms, the lawyers representing the interests of employees of various outfits on Sumska St were not allowed into the building”.
She added that people had been held at the building for (at that time) 9 hours which could be deemed equivalent to torture. A telegram informing of the extraordinary events has been sent to the Human Rights Ombudsperson, and Reporters without Borders have also been notified.
She is convinced that the actions of the Kharkiv police have greatly damaged the city’s reputation in the run-up to EURO 2012.