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Moscow expects OSCE's impartial assessment of journalists’ rights violations in Ukraine

March 11, 2014, 20:32 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia's Foreign Ministry says media workers come under psychological pressure and are subject to violence in Kiev and other parts of Ukraine

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© ITAR-TASS/Zurab Dzhavakhadze

MOSCOW, March 11. /ITAR-TASS/. Moscow expects the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to give a quick and impartial assessment of the violation of journalists’ rights in Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

“The Russian Foreign Ministry is concerned with restrictions imposed on media freedom and the violation of journalists’ rights in Ukraine. Media workers come under psychological pressure and are subject to violence in Kiev and other parts of Ukraine,” the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed, noting that a correspondent of the Russia 24 news television channel, Artyom Kol, had received a death threat.

“A reward worth 10,000 hryvnias was offered for his head,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Several Russian media outlets became victims of hacker attacks early in March, including the Russia Today English-language TV channel (on March 2) and the Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily (on March 7).

Besides, several Russian TV channels such as RTR-Planeta, Channel One and NTV Mir have disappeared from Ukraine’s cable television network on March 4.

Ukraine has banned several Russian TV crews from entering the country. On March 6, a TV crew of the Russian state television and radio network, VGTRK, was turned away at Donetsk airport. "The crew included correspondent Veronika Bogma, video operator Antuan Kechedzhiyan, assistant Vladimir Shumakov and the VGTRK employee, Andrei Meshcheryakov,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in its comment.

The crew of the TV-Center channel, including correspondent Mikhail Shekoyan, sound operator Maxim Pankin and assistant cameraman Anatoly Zanin, was deported from Donetsk airport on March 7.

NTV’s correspondent Garry Knyagnitsky, cameraman Sergei Koreshkov and sound operator Dmitry Anisimov as well as Channel One video operators Andrei Konik and Oleg Pudov have also been banned entry.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly called the OSCE’s attention to the fact that it was impossible to use double standards and a selective approach in assessing media freedom in Ukraine by international organisations, specialised NGOs and human rights groups that have been turning a blind eye on such manifestations of censorship.

The Russian Foreign Ministry expects that the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media to give a quick and unbiased assessment of all violations of journalists’ rights and ensure the implementation of the relevant OSCE commitment by the current interim authorities in Kiev.

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