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

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month 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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid