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29.11.2013

Ukrainian Road Control journalist granted asylum in US

   

   Andriy Zhukovyen and two other Road Control journalists had highly questionable charges brought against them after themselves coming under attack while videoing what they believed to be illegal activities by the traffic police.  

Andriy Zhukovyen, journalist from the traffic police watchdog Dorozhny Kontrol [Road Control] has been found eligible for asylum in the United States.  This follows criminal proceedings initated by the Svyatoshynsky Police Station in Kyiv at the beginning of 2013 against three Road Control journalists.  Road Control reports that the US authorities have thus found that the Ukrainian Interior Ministry organized the actions against Road Control out of political motives.

As reported, on 26 November 2012 Road Control announced that a group of thugs had been brought in by the traffic police [DAI or Road Inspectorate officers] and had set upon Road Control journalists. Andriy Dzyndzya who got his face smashed, and Andriy Zhukoven who received several blows to the head.  The journalists had been making a video film of what they say is a new illegal private car impoundment area to which Kyiv residents’ cars are being towed and which does not have a formal agreement with the DAI. .

Road Control asserted then that DAI traffic police officers had called around 20 thugs who attacked the journalists.  The police who arrived at the scene did nothing.

Later criminal charges were brought against the two victims of the assault. 

Andriy Zhukovyen learned that criminal proceedings had been initiated against him at the end of February 2013 while in the USA together with the head of Road Control, Rostyslav Shaposhnykov.  He understood that it would be dangerous to return and applied for asylum.  

The two other journalists involved – Andriy Dzyndzya and Yevhen Yeremenko – remained in Ukraine.  

Information about the criminal charges and release on bail of Dzyndzya in March make it quite clear why Zhukovyen saw grounds for concern (Road Control journalist on worrying criminal charge)  Yeremenko has also had to sign an undertaking not to leave Kyiv.

From the report here: http://roadcontrol.org.ua/node/1970

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