MOSCOW, May 14. /TASS/. Ukrainian journalists have asked Ukraine’s Security Service and the prosecutor general’s office to explain the reasons for searches in apartments of journalists of the Odessa-based Timer publication.
"In the case of the Timer website, we cannot but see political motives and attempts to exert pressure on journalists. In case the searches are being conducted within criminal proceedings not linked with professional activities of the website employees, we insist on being informed of that the soonest possible," journalists said in an appeal published in the Ukrainian mass media and in social networks.
The journalists reminded that under article 17 of the Ukrainian law on state support to mass media and social protection of journalists, no journalist can be arrested on grounds of his or her professional activities, and none of his or her materials or technical tools can be seized from him or her.
The appeal was signed by more than 50 journalists from Ukraine’s leading mass madia.
Earlier on Thursday, the police searched the apartment of the Timer’s editor-in-chief, Yuri Tkachev. Later, the journalists said he had been interrogated by the Security Service as a witness in a territorial integrity case.
After being released from the Security Service, he wrote on his Facebook account two more Timer’s journalists had been interrogated.
The Timer is owned by the leader of Ukraine’s Rodina (Motherland) party, Igor Markov, a federalization supporter, who had been forced to flee the country. Tkachev has repeatedly voiced support to the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk Republics (DPR and LPR).