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Several Rezonans-TV journalists assaulted by security guard while covering protest rally

(CJES/IFEX) - On 5 February 2009, a group of journalists from the Dnepropetrovsk journalistic investigations studio Rezonans-TV were assaulted by a security guard from the limited liability company Agroavrora in the village of Pridneprovskoye, Nikopolsky district.

The journalists went to the village to film a protest rally and to talk to the locals about their conflict with the administration of the local agricultural farm. "It's an old conflict involving property and land stakes. It has been going on for six years already," said Anna Leontyeva, head of the information department of Rezonans-TV.

When the journalists arrived in the village, Rezonans-TV editor Natalya Grekova, journalist Maria Vyatkina, and cameraman Andrei Kovbasa recorded comments given by the director and chief economist of Agroavrora. When they left the firm's property and continued filming a protest rally, a security guard came running up to them and broke their camera. "Swearing at the journalists and threatening them, he demanded that they stop filming. The director of the firm would not stop his subordinate and left the scene, hiding behind the backs of his security guards," Rezonans-TV reported. The guard who attacked the journalists told the police he was outraged because the journalists had not introduced themselves.

"Attacks against journalists have become frequent in Dnepropetrovsk. Grigory Globa of the newspaper 'Gorozhanin' has recently been attacked by sectarians. In the summer, our reporters were prohibited from filming a conflict in the Globa Park. We managed to save our camera then and contacted the prosecutors' office, but the case was brushed under the carpet. In Ukraine, attacks against journalists are normally not investigated at all," said Natalya Vasova, director of Rezonans-TV, who was also attacked and beaten three years ago (the attack has still not been resolved).

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