President’s guards try to stop peaceful protest by journalists


During the peaceful protest staged by around 15 journalists during President Yanukovych’s address to the World Newspaper Congress in Kyiv, presidential guards manhandled two of the protesters  –the Chief Editor of Ukrainska Pravda, Olena Prytula and Kyiv Post Deputy Editor Katya Gorchynska.  A guard tried to force a placard reading “Stop Censorship!” from Ms Gorchynska who managed to pass t to Olena Prytula, from whom the guard then wrenched it by force.  Ms Prytula used her laptop to display the sign inside.

Later on in the afternoon the National Security Department claimed that it was private individuals who had obstructed the journalists, not the President’s guards.

This fails to explain why the individuals had official badges saying Security.

The protest was reported by Associated Press and by which wrote that the protest had come  “after WAN-IFRA president Jacob Mathew addressed the conference in a speech which called for press across the world to be freed from "shackles". 
He also called for greater freedoms in the Ukraine, saying the country is at a "crossroads metaphorically", he said, "in matters concerning freedoms".
Mr Yanukovych asserted among other things that there was no problem with freedom of speech in Ukraine.

The protest came two days after journalists launched an appeal over attempts to remove access to the independent TV channel TVi.  A translation of this appeal which is open for endorsement can be found here

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