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IFJ insists on Russia's Zvezda TV journalists immediate release

June 07, 2014, 21:25 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
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BRUSSELS, June 07, /ITAR-TASS/. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has called on Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko to take measures for an immediate release of two journalists of Russia's Zvezda TV Channel.

The journalists were detained for doing their job, IFJ President Jim Boumelha told Itar-Tass.

The IFJ condemned the latest attack on two journalists of Russia’s Zvezda TV Channel, he said. Boumelha recalled that on June 6, Ukrainian ultra-radical MP Oleg Lyashko had kicked out Russian journalists from the parliament and called them “spies”.

Lyashko accused Russian journalists of espionage and threw them out of the Verkhovna Rada despite their valid accreditation to work in the country’s parliament building, he said.

Such actions are unacceptable and should be stopped, Boumelha said.

Reporters of Russia’s Zvezda TV Channel - cameraman Andrei Sushenkov and video engineer Anton Malyshev were detained by Ukraine’s National Guard on Friday, June 6.

The TV channel says on its website the two journalists - Andrei Sushenkov and Anton Malyshev - had entered Ukraine officially on June 4 for covering the presidential inauguration. Contact with them was lost after they were stopped at a checkpoint in the Donetsk Region on the way to Slaviansk.

The TV channel says that cameraman, Andrei Sushenkov at about 17.30 local time told the channels’ producer in Moscow by telephone they were being searched at a National Gaurd post near the village of Bylbasovka and that their documents had been taken away. The journalists have been unaccounted for ever since.

“We are asking for support from the entire journalistic community in our efforts for the release of our colleagues,” the TV channel said in its statement.

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