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Kiev authorities violate journalists’ rights — Russian ombudsperson

Ukrainian authorities have committed at least 50 violations of journalists’ rights since early March, says a report by the Russian human rights ombudsperson

MOSCOW, May 30. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian authorities have committed at least 50 violations of journalists’ rights since early March, as follows from the Russian human rights ombudsperson's posted list of registered violations on the official website on Friday.

The list includes names of over 130 journalists, reporters, camera operators and producers from Russia and other countries who came under fire, were illegally detained, deported or denied entry to Ukraine, the Russian ombudsperson’s office said.

Kiev denied entry to 50 media personnel under some pretext or without any, despite the fact the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry accredited most of them, in particular to cover the presidential election.

Over ten reporters were deported from the country and at least 18 media staff were detained on baseless grounds.

The Russian NTV channel reporter Stepan Chirich was detained in a very tough manner and beaten in the Dnipropetrovsk region. He is held under house arrest on charges of espionage in the city of Dnipropetrovsk now.

The Russian government and mass media community did everything possible and impossible to save two reporters of the LifeNews TV channel, Marat Saichenko and Oleg Sidyakin, from torture chambers of the Security Service of Ukraine after the international pressure coerced the Ukrainian military and security services to let free the British subject and the independent journalist, Graham Phillips, detained in another flashpoint on the Ukrainian map, the city of Mariupol.

Journalists are in constant danger in the area of the so-called ‘anti-terrorist operation’ in the cities of Kramatorsk and Donetsk where the Ukrainian military opened fire at Russian TV teams three times in May alone.

On May 9, the freelance reporter of the Russian RT channel, Fedor Zavaleikov, was gravely wounded during a punitive operation of the Ukrainian law enforcers in Mariupol and in spite of his condition the Kiev authorities barred his evacuation for medical treatment.

On May 24, the Italian photographer Andrea Rocchelli and his interpreter, Russian Andrei Mironov, were killed and the French photographer William Roguelon was wounded on the outskirts of the city of Sloviansk when their car came under mortar fire.