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Journalist and cameraman attacked by security guards

(IMI/IFEX) - On 24 June 2009 at approximately 11 a.m. (local time), security guards working for the company "Pharmacia" assaulted the "Closed zone" TV crew as they were shooting next to the company's headquarters in Kyiv, reported Natalia Fitsich, general producer at "Closed zone".

The security guards aimed tear gas at cameraman Serhiy Kolesnikov. Kolesnikov and journalist Olena Bondarenko were both working on an assignment for the investigation program "Warning", trying to investigate the activities of "Pharmacia", a public utility company.

"An interview with the deputy general director had been recorded inside. And today, we came to the place to record a standup in front of the company's headquarters. We did not get inside and did not try to, we were shooting in the yard", Bondarenko told "Telekrytyka".

A "Pharmacia" security guard came out and demanded to see the TV crew's permit to film there. Bondarenko explained that she was not obliged to present him any permit for such activity outdoors. "I told him that he was obstructing journalistic work which meant criminal responsibility and I had to call the police".

At that time, another security man approached them, stepped between the journalist and cameraman and then sprayed tear gas from an aerosol can into the face of Kolesnikov.

A police officer as well as an MP and former "Closed zone" journalist, Volodymyr Aryev, came to the spot. The person who sprayed the tear gas was summoned before an investigator. "The security guards have been detained and they are giving a deposition now", said police representative Volodymyr Polishchuk.

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