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OSCE representative calls on Ukraine to respect the work of foreign journalists

August 30, 23:29 UTC+3 VIENNA

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir wrote a letter to the Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin

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VIENNA, August 30. /TASS/. The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir on Wednesday expressed his concern regarding the practice of detention and expulsion of foreign journalists from Ukraine.

Earlier on the same day, the Security Service of Ukraine Anna Kurbatova, a journalist working for the Russian Perviy Kanal, was detained by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) in Kyiv. According to an SBU spokesperson, the journalist was to be expelled "for disgracing Ukraine".

"Expelling journalists from or denying them entry to Ukraine are troubling and excessive measures, especially as these actions lack transparency and a proper appeal mechanism," Desir wrote in a letter to the Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin today. "OSCE participating States have committed themselves to improving the conditions under which journalists from one participating State practice their profession in other participating States," he added.

The Representative has previously addressed Ukrainian authorities on similar incidents involving journalists working for the Russian State Television and Radio Company.

On 14 August the SBU detained and deported Tamara Nersesyan who stands accused of damaging Ukraine’s national interests. She has been banned from entering the country for three years.

On 26 July, the SBU deported Maria Knyazeva and denied her entry into the country on the grounds of biased coverage of the situation in Ukraine.

Desir also noted that on 25 August, the SBU denied entry to two Spanish journalists, Antonio Pampliega and Manuel ·ngel Sastre, and banned them from entering the country for three years, reportedly for "activities countering national interests of Ukraine".

"I call on the respective authorities to refrain from imposing unnecessary limitations on the work of foreign journalists, which affect the free flow of information and violate OSCE commitments on freedom of the media," the representative said.

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