The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have condemned the ‘underhand’ attempts of Crimea’s regional government to curtail media coverage of the region’s referendum on March 16. The IFJ and EFJ have stated that the “ludicrously short” time period for media accreditation applications is completely unrealistic and unreasonable and the requirements of the accreditation simply cannot be obtained in time.
“This is clearly an underhand attempt by the regional government of Crimea to restrict and undermine media coverage of the upcoming referendum,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. “First of all we have this laughably short one day turnaround period for applications which ends today, then an attempt to wrap journalists up in so much red tape that they haven’t a hope of meeting the deadline.
“The result is deeply concerning for media who plan to cover the referendum. It will mean that journalists will be forced to work illegally, without accreditation, an action which could put their safety at risk in a region where many journalists have already been attacked and abused in recent days.”