We are concerned about Ukrainian officials’ statements in the spirit of intolerance towards media outlets whose views do not coincide with the official stance on the developments in that country. Several dozen Russian journalists have been banned entry into Ukraine, and there are plans for a total ban on Russian television broadcasts in Ukraine.
Ukrainian authorities whip up public phobias as they did previously, allegedly “tracking down and thwarting” the circulation of outlets that dissatisfy the regime. Rhetoric on this topic is extremely dangerous as it promotes intolerance towards the dissenters, which runs counter to Ukraine’s international pledges of compliance with human rights.
Acts of violence against journalists are not surprising in this situation – suffice to mention the recent assault on LifeNews correspondent Yevgenia Zmanovskaya, which demonstrates what deep root aversion to alternative views has taken among Ukrainian journalists. It appears that their community has entirely given up professional ethics for intolerant conduct towards their Russian colleagues.
We expect concerned human rights organisations and agencies, particularly the OSCE and the Council of Europe, to declare their principled attitude towards the repeated abuse of journalists’ rights in Ukraine.
28 November 2014