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UNESCO chief condemns Russian journalist’s murder in Ukraine

July 01, 2014, 19:44 UTC+3 PARIS
“Journalists covering events in Ukraine must have an opportunity to fulfill their professional duty,” UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova says
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© EPA/IAN LANGSDON

PARIS, July 01./ITAR-TASS/. UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova expressed deep concern over the murder of Russian TV journalist Anatoly Klyan in Ukraine two days ago and urged the Ukrainian authorities to find those responsible for the journalist’s death.

Klyan, 68, was among other journalists on a bus with mothers of military conscripts going to a pro-Kiev military unit in the Donetsk Region to demand the off-duty release of their sons, when the vehicle came under gunfire. Klyan, who worked as a cameraman for Channel One, sustained a lethal gun wound in the abdomen and died upon his hospitalization.

“I condemn the murder of Anatoly Klyan,” Bokova said in a statement. “I call on the authorities to conduct an investigation into the murder and bring to account those responsible.”

“Journalists covering events in Ukraine must have an opportunity to fulfill their professional duty, which is to provide citizens with unbiased information and promote news-based discussions without any fear for their own lives,” the UNESCO chief said.

Klyan’s murder was another in a chain of lethal attacks on journalists in the ongoing combat operation, which Ukrainian authorities are conducting in southeast Ukraine.

Two correspondents from Russian central television and radio broadcasting company VGTRK, special correspondent Igor Kornelyuk and sound engineer Anton Voloshin, were killed near the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk on June 17.

They came under mortar fire near a roadblock of militia as they were filming a TV report about people’s militias helping to evacuate refugees from the combat zone. Journalists bore clearly visible media insignia at the moment of the attack. According to eyewitnesses, a mortar shell exploded near the Russian filming crew. Sound engineer Voloshin died at the scene and Kornelyuk died later at a local hospital.

On May 24, Italian photo correspondent Andrea Rocchelli and his Russian interpreter Andrey Mironov were killed in mortar fire near the city of Sloviansk.

Hundreds of people have been killed, buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands have been forced to cross the border from Ukraine to Russia since April as a result of Kiev’s military operation against federalization supporters in Ukraine’s southeast involving armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation.

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