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Politicians abuse power, attack journalists

Ukrainian politicians are targeting journalists and editors in order to quash criticism. A newspaper editor was recently assaulted by a member of parliament (MP) for publishing stories critical of the MP's performance, reports the Glasnost Defence Foundation (GDF). Meanwhile, another journalist was beaten up allegedly on orders from an MP on 14 October, reports the Institute of Mass Information (IMI) in Ukraine.

Alexei Vasilevich, editor of the newspaper "Skandalny Zhitomir" and head of the regional organisation Bdzhola, was attacked by parliamentarian Oleg Cherpitsky in a parking lot near a shopping mall in Zhitomir, reports GDF. Vasilevich told GDF that Cherpitsky threatened to kill him and punched him in the face several times. The editor suffered a concussion and bruises.

In a separate incident, journalist Ruslan Lubchenko of "Conflict i zakon" magazine was assaulted by a group of people as he tried to photograph a tent site near the Lenin monument in the centre of Kyiv, reports IMI. Police stood by and watched as Lubchenko was beaten and shot in the face with an airgun. Instead of coming to his aid, they detained the journalist, seized his camera and memory card, and fined him. At a press conference held on 27 October by the journalist's magazine, Lubchenko claimed a member of parliament directly gave orders to the perpetrators to beat him, says IMI.

Related stories on
  • Journalist assaulted by parliamentarian

    Alexei Vasilevich, editor of "Skandalny Zhitomir" newspaper, suffered a concussion and numerous bruises following the attack in Zhitomir.

  • Journalist assaulted, allegedly on MP's orders

    Journalist Ruslan Lubchenko was assaulted and briefly detained by police after he tried to photograph a tent site in Kyiv.

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