News / Europe

Growing Concerns About Press Freedom in Ukraine

Growing Concerns About Press Freedom in Ukrainei
X
March 11, 2014 12:52 AM
There is growing concern that Russia or Russian surrogates are trying to restrict independent media coverage of unfolding events in Ukraine. Numerous incidents of harassment of international journalists and a Russian take over of Ukrainian broadcast frequencies raises alarms. Brian Padden reports.
Brian Padden
There is growing concern that Russia or Russian surrogates are trying to restrict independent media coverage of unfolding events in Ukraine, including Crimea.  There have been numerous incidents of harassment of international journalists, and Russia recently took over Ukrainian broadcast frequencies, raising alarms that Moscow is trying to silence opposition voices.

At one point during a pro-Russia demonstration in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, protesters turned their anger toward Voice of America correspondent Daniel Schearf and his translator.  Shearf described what happened.

“A large crowd encircled us, you know maybe three, four, five people deep. And we were obviously surrounded,” he said.

In this case, the verbal assault did not turn violent but, as seen in one YouTube video, a Bulgarian journalist in Crimea was attacked by masked men as he tried to take pictures of them removing equipment from a TV studio.

Nina Ognianova with the Committee to Protect Journalists says that journalist organizations are documenting an increasing number of acts of intimidation and physical attacks against those covering the crisis in Ukraine.

“Men who in several most recent events have kidnapped at least two journalists, assaulted several reporters, kept reporters at gunpoint and obstructed them from entering the region,” she said.

Russian state television also has taken over the broadcast frequency used by Crimea’s Black Sea TV, as well as two other stations in Kyiv.

Ognianova says the clampdown on the media makes it more difficult to find a peaceful solution to the crisis as pro-Russian forces exert more control over Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.

“A plurality of views is crucial in this time of crisis," she said. "If there is going to be a conflict resolution, this is the only way that this conflict could be resolved.”

Dunja Mijatovic with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe also has urged all parties to permit journalists to report safely and without fear of reprisal.

"The most important thing is that you stay safe and this is my message to everyone: 'Hands off media, hands off journalists, law enforcement agencies make sure that they are safe,'" she said  "And that would be a message from the OSCE representative of the media."

These advocates for freedom of the press say silencing media is not acceptable, especially in times of crisis.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Sunny Enwerem from: Lagos Nigeria
March 11, 2014 9:52 AM
Let history play its part again,its only when the good fail to act the bad wins,Russia is an aggressive nation that should be made to fear the international community,history remembers the Crimean War (1854-1855) For centuries, one central goal of Russian foreign policy was to obtain a warm water port in the south--namely, at the Bosporus Straits and the Strait of the Dardanelles, the small waterways connecting the Black Sea to the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. In 1854, the decaying Ottoman Empire controlled that essential waterway and Russia sought increased power in this region.

In 1853, St. Petersburg demanded that the Ottoman Empire recognize Russia's right to protect Eastern Orthodox believers in Turkey. When Turkey refused, Russia sent troops into Ottoman territory. Fearing increased Russian power and an upset to the balance of power on the Continent, Great Britain and France declared war on Russia on March 28, 1854. Russia fared well against its weaker neighbor to the south, destroying the Turkish fleet off the coast of Sinope, a port city in north-central Asia Minor. However, in September 1854, the British and French laid siege to Sevastopol, Russia's heavily fortified chief naval base in the Black Sea, lying on the Crimean peninsula.

After just under one year of constant battle, the Russian abandoned the fortress, blowing up their fortifications and sinking their own ships. Meanwhile, at nearby Balaklava, British troops charged down a narrow valley that was flanked by Russian guns on both sides. Nearly every British soldier fell dead in what came to be called the Valley of Death. The name of the British group was the Light Brigade, giving rise to the famous Alfred, Lord Tennyson poem, "The Charge of the Light Brigade." Russia's new tsar, Alexander II, sued for peace in 1856. In the resulting Peace of Paris, Russia relinquished its claim as Christian protector in Turkey, the Black Sea was neutralized, and the balance of power was maintained.


by: me from: hete
March 11, 2014 8:25 AM
It's all lie. He said that US helps neo nazis (bandits) by supplying them money and they breach their own law


by: Pavel from: Russia
March 11, 2014 6:13 AM
None of journalists undestand fully what is going on in Ukraine. I consider all their activity as bringing instability to the region. Journalists have capability to influance on a situation but they use it for worse.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid