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OSCE envoy says confiscation of journalists’ MH17 material ‘may be disproportionate’

January 10, 2017, 18:28 UTC+3 VIENNA

Dutch law enforcement agencies have confiscated all materials gathered on the MH17 crash by two independent journalists

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VIENNA, January 10. /TASS/. OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic has expressed doubts as to whether it was rightful for Dutch police to confiscate materials on the MH17 crash collected in Donbass by two independent Dutch journalists.

"Confiscation of equipment may be disproportionate," she wrote on Twitter.

Journalists Stefan Beck and Michel Spekkers spent nine days in Donbass at the end of December - early in January, where they familiarized themselves with the general political situation and visited the MH17 crash site.

Dutch law enforcement agencies detained both at the airport upon their return home on January 7, confiscating all materials gathered on the MH17 crash, as well as cameras, cellphones and notebooks. The Public Prosecutor’s Office said it feared the journalists would refuse to voluntarily pass the materials to investigators.

Stefan Beck fears that information he and his colleague gathered at the MH17 crash site in Donbass and that was confiscated could be passed to the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) and used to persecute people supporting the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics.

On July 17, 2014, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 flight MH17 en route from the Dutch city of Amsterdam to the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur crashed in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine. All the 283 passengers and 15 crew members, nationals from ten countries, died in the crash. Most passengers were Dutch nationals. Ukraine’s authorities and the militia of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic accused each other of the tragedy. Dutch authorities have been investigating the crash.

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