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MOSCOW, May 13. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian Investigative Committee (IC) has opened a criminal investigation into the case of a Russia Today journalist who was wounded in south-east Ukraine's Mariupol.
"The IC head department has opened a criminal case into an incident involving video operator of Russia Today television Fyodor Zavaleikov, wounded in Mariupol, on charges of attempted assassination of a journalist, obstruction to his professional activity and violence used," IC spokesman Vladimir Markin told ITAR-TASS on Tuesday.
According to a preliminary investigation, on May 9, Zavaleikov, wearing a bullet-proof jacket, had been filming how Ukrainian law enforcers were storming the building of Mariupol city council which was seized by federalization supporters. The video operator was wounded in the abdomen when he was crossing a street nearby. The operator was hospitalized and underwent surgery, the IC spokesman said.
At present, Zavaleikov is being treated at a medical clinic in Moscow.
Violations of journalists' rights in Ukraine
On May, Russia urged the relevant bodies of the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to condemn systematic violations of journalists’ rights in Ukraine.
“We are convinced that the relevant international bodies, including UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic and the UN Human Rights Council should condemn systematic violations of journalists’ rights in Ukraine,” the ministry said.
It noted that “gross violations of journalists’ rights” were continuing in Ukraine. On May 6, a three-member crew of the Russian TV Center channel was deported from Ukraine under the formal pretext of “lacking necessary documents”. The journalists had been officially seconded and provided with proper documents to cover the pre-election situation and the presidential elections in Ukraine.
“Judging from the fact that the crew was awaited at the airport by Ukrainian mass media and that its deportation was aired on the local TSN channel on the same day, this was Kiev’s deliberate action aimed at restricting journalists’ activities,” the ministry said.