Interior Ministry finds no infringement in physical violence against Channel 5 journalist
The Ministry of the Interior has carried out an internal check over the actions by the Deputy Head of the Svyatoshynsk District Police Station, Mykola Zeva on 31 March this year. As reported, Azad Safarov from TV Channel 5 lodged a complaint after Zeva elbowed him in the face and then pushed his hand with the microphone away several times very roughly when the journalist tried to find out his name and position.
The Ministry’s position was given on Wednesday by the Deputy Head of the Ministry’s Department for Civil Security, Arkady Zaporozhtsev during a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Freedom of Speech which did not have formal status since there were only five members present which is not enough for a quorum.
The incident took place during a protest against tree-felling in the Kyiv-Svyatoshynsk Forest-Park on 31 March. Mr Safarov demanded an investigation, specifically asking whether Zeva had the right to do the following:
1. To hit a journalist while the latter was carrying out his professional duties;
2. To push a journalist’s microphone away roughly with the use of physical force;
3. To order his subordinates to use their weapons against the peaceful protesters.1.
4. To refuse to show his identification when asked by members of the public and the journalist;
5. To call Ukraine “a country of idiots” in a conversation by telephone with his boss (after the scuffle).
A number of media and civic organizations immediately issued a statement endorsing Mr Safarov’s demands. The Head of the Parliamentary Committee on Freedom of Speech, Yury Stets also stated publicly that Zeva should be suspended pending the results of the enquiry and also asked the Prosecutor General’s Office to prosecute as quickly as possible for obstruction of journalist activities.
New information reported by Telekritika