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Moscow calls on human rights activists to respond to journalists’ data leak in Ukraine

May 11, 2016, 21:57 UTC+3

Personal rights and freedoms of thousands of people have been breached, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman points out

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© Sergey Bobylev/TASS Archive

MOSCOW, May 11. /TASS/. Personal information released in Ukraine on journalists who were accredited and worked in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) presents an abuse of declared freedoms in favor of political ambitions and demonstrates that rights and freedoms of thousands of people have been violated, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.

"Attention was drawn to the fact personal information of journalists who were accredited and worked in the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR has been released," she said in a commentary. "The act cannot be regarded otherwise but as a neglect. Though in essence it constitutes an abuse of declared freedoms in Ukraine to satisfy political ambitions. Personal rights and freedoms of thousands of people have been breached."

Earlier reports said that the Kiev-based website Mirotvorets (Peacekeeper) released information on more than 4,000 journalists from different countries who were accredited by the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). The website accused those journalists of cooperation "with terrorist organizations." The data include first names and surnames, places of work, positions, home countries, mobile phone numbers, email addresses and dates of stay in the territory not controlled by the Ukrainian government.

"That action clearly backed by the Kiev authorities runs counter to provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Article 17) and European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (Article 8) along with norms of Ukraine’s law. In compliance with them, any individual has the right to be protected from illegal intrusion into privacy. The state should protect this right in Ukraine," she said.

Besides, Zakharova is concerned that these activities could arouse hatred against those who perform their professional duty informing the public about developments in southeastern Ukraine. She mentioned the tragic death of Oles Buzina, a Ukrainian journalist and writer, who was "killed a few days after his personal data were deliberately posted online for open access."

"We share journalists’ concern over encroachment on their rights and urge competent international bodies to give a response to another attempt in Ukraine to hamper people’s rights to express their opinions and to receive and impart information," she said.

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