Joint statement on threats to media freedom in Ukraine
Stockholm, 12.09.2011 – Mats Johansson, the Standing Rapporteur for Media Freedom of PACE’s Committee on Culture, Science and Education, and Arne König, President of the European Federation of Journalists, who are both attending a PACE hearing in Stockholm on the state of media freedom in Europe, have released the following joint statement:
“We are very concerned by threats to media freedom in Ukraine, which chairs the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers at a time of severe national political challenges. It is important for democracy that independent media can freely report on a political crisis. Impunity for attacks on journalists and the media undermines democracy and the rule of law. National security must not be taken as a pretext to silence politically critical media.
It is unacceptable that law enforcement authorities have not yet been able to shed light on the disappearance of Vasyl Klymentyev one year ago. The fact that the court trial concerning the Georgiy Gongadze murder is being conducted in camera challenges the right of the public to be informed on this matter of public concern.
Therefore, we call on the competent authorities in Ukraine to ensure that independent and truthful information can be disseminated freely by the media in Ukraine.”