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Journalist assaulted, allegedly on MP's orders

(IMI/IFEX) - On 14 October 2009, journalist Ruslan Lubchenko, of "Conflict i zakon" magazine, tried to photograph a tent site near the Lenin monument in the centre of Kyiv. All of a sudden, individuals who were at the camp assaulted the journalist, beating him on the head, and one of them fired a shot at Lubchenko's face with an airgun. The police did not try to stop the assailants. Instead they detained the journalist and fined him. The journalist's camera and memory card were seized by police and have not been returned. Other individuals involved in the incident were not brought to account.

A press conference was held on 27 October, at 11 a.m., at the offices of the Ukrinform news agency. It was organised by the magazine, an association of entrepreneurs, lawyers and journalists, an NGO and the Independent Kyiv media trade union.

During the press conference, Lubchenko claimed a member of parliament directly gave orders to his assailants to beat him. He did not name the MP.

"People in the tent camp have airguns and other weapons and so law-enforcement bodies should investigate the case . . . it is unclear who else they might attack," the journalist said.

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