AEJ colleagues in Ukraine have appealed for support and solidarity from the whole Association of European Journalists and other journalists’ organisations amidst the ongoing crisis. The AEJ has sent a message to President Yanukovich and acting prime minister Arbuzov and called on them to end the intimidation and violence against journalists.
Those reporting the large-scale disturbances in Kiev and elsewhere have routinely faced abuse and violence, as have many anti-government protestors. More than 150 journalists and media workers have reportedly been attacked. Tatyana Chornovol suffered severe injuries after a brutal assault while she was investigating a case of high-level corruption. One extremely repressive package of draft laws including a ban on public protests has been withdrawn, but further attempts to stifle press freedom and legitimate protests are feared.
The re-criminalisation of defamation has repeatedly been proposed, but that has so far been stopped by the overwhelming display of public support for press freedom and an end to censorship. See here the“SOS Kiev” campaign launched by the International Federation of Journalists and the European Federations of Journalists.