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“In terms of international law, journalists are always considered civilian persons even if they are near those who are fighting,” Grigory Lukyantsev, deputy head of the Foreign Ministry’s Department of Humanitarian Cooperation and Human Rights, said at an informal news briefing organized on Thursday, July 3, by the Russian Mission.
The Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly prevented Russian journalists from carrying out their professional duties during the crisis, and members of the Russian media were detained and even tortured, he said.
The idea of drafting an additional protocol was supported by the delegation of Serbia which is to take over the presidency in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 2015. The Serbian delegation’s head, Sanja Milinkovic, said this document had been drafted several years ago in the OSCE and this work should be resumed.
“Since the start of the conflict journalists in Ukraine have been working in abnormal conditions,” ITAR-TASS First Deputy Director-General Mikhail Gusman said. “For us who do this as a profession creating conditions for safe work is a top priority. The protection of journalists concerns every one of us and it concerns our Ukrainian journalists too,” he said.