Journalist abducted during siege of Horlivka
During the storming of the police station
On April 14 “pro-Russian activists” in masks burst into the office of the Internet publication Gorlovka.ua and took its editor, Oleksandr Belinsky away. He was later returned and is unhurt.
At around 11.00 masked men burst into the office of Gorlovka.ua and the newspaper Criminal – Express” Seven men pushed Belinsky out of his office and took him away. The website’s work was also blocked.
Belinski later told the Institute for Mass Information that he had been taken to outside the police building where the pro-Russian activists demanded that he explain why his publication calls them terrorists. During the car journey he was punched a couple of times and told “you call us terrorists, now you’re going to report to the people”.
He says that they took him to where there was a crowd of around 300. The crowd was told that he had called them terrorists. He told them to look at his site, that they gave normal news. They tried to open the site but couldn’t and began shouting that he should swear allegiance to them. They then got on the site and saw that there was nothing about terrorists. Belinsky says that he spoke with “a deputy from the Donetsk Republic, Valeriy Otchenko and asked if he could leave, and was told he could.
He says he was frightened since the crowd did not understand anything. “They needed a victim. It was frightening – the crowd was made. Nobody understood why they’d brought me there. Everybody was shouting that I’m calling them terrorists, and how do you explain them? “
Belinski says that because of this incident he is forced to close the office. He adds that the main problem now in the city is getting coverage of news by Ukrainian journalists, and not just Russian channels. Two editorial offices have already removed staff out of concern for their safety