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MOSCOW, April 10. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian authorities should take all measures to ensure international human rights, the Russian Public Chamber said in a statement made public at its website on Thursday.
“The Russian Public Chamber committee for media support as foundations of civil society and ensuring the freedom of speech and access to information has voiced strong concerns over continued violations of rights and freedoms of Russian journalists working in Ukraine,” the statement runs. “Media community, public organisations in Russia told repeatedly authorities and politicians in Ukraine about most serious problems in this issue and demanded that journalists of all countries should be provided with an opportunity to perform their professional duty freely,” it reads. However, the document said that Ukrainian authorities continue to take actions seeking to restrict freedom of information and freedom of speech, as cases of halting broadcasting of Russian-language television channels, pressure on journalists took place. Recently several Russian journalists representing TV channels Rossiya, RT, REN-TV, NTV, publishing house Kommersant, Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily, Russian branch of Forbes magazine were just denied entry in Ukraine.
“The committee states that new Ukrainian authorities should understand all unflattering nature of current situation and should take all measures immediately to ensure observance of international norms in human rights and fulfilment of their international commitments assumed at state level. The committee expresses decisive protest against any actions targeted to restrict freedom of information and freedom of speech,” the chamber said in the statement.
Ukrainian authorities refused to permit other four Russian journalists, namely a special correspondent and a photographer of publishing house Kommersant, a cameraman and a sound operator of TV channel Rossiya to enter the country for the past day alone. All in all, more than 20 Russian journalists were not permitted to come to Ukraine for fulfilment of their professional duties.
“All of them were taken off a train bound for Ukraine and were sent back to Russia,” chief press officer of the Federal Security Service border department in Belgorod and Voronezh regions in the European part of Russia Dmitry Zhukov told ITAR-TASS. He added that the formal reason for expulsion of journalists, as Ukraine claims, was that they lacked “financial support for their stay in Ukraine.”
Denial to Russian journalists to enter Ukraine is violation of all international agreements regarding media people, the chairman of the Moscow Union of Journalists, the editor-in-chief of Moskovsky Komsomolets daily and a member of the Public Chamber, Pavel Gusev said.
“I condemn these actions. This is just an outrage and violation of all international agreements regarding journalists,” he stated, adding that “The Moscow Union of Journalists has earlier made a statement that said that these actions are impermissible. It was made public for Ukrainian media. The Public Chamber media support committee will make a statement soon.”
Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Representative for Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic urged the OSCE member states not to hamper work of journalists banning them to cross the border. She stated so in comments on cases when media workers were denied entry in Ukraine.