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Reporters detained by private company security guards

(IMI/IFEX) - On 3 June 2010, reporters Oleksiy Synylo and Volodymyr Kryzhanivskiy were detained by force and held for two hours in Odessa port by individuals from the private company Novotech-Terminal. The journalists work for the Most-Odessa news agency and the online media outlet Telekrytyka.

The reporters went to Odessa port following a tip that a commercial company situated at the port was going to be raided. According to Synylo, the security guards seized all their film equipment and mobile phones and then locked them up. The reasons for the detention were not explained to the journalists, Telekrytyka reported.

When officers from the Odessa district police department arrived at the scene, they were prevented from entering the site. They were eventually able to free the reporters, the editor of Most-Odessa, Tamila Tirzyan, told IMI's correspondent.

Police are investigating the incident.

The Kyiv Gorshenin Institute of Management Issues and the Most-Odessa news agency condemned the fact that a private company had deprived the two reporters of their freedom, and seized their film equipment in violation of the Ukraine Constitution. The two organisations issued an appeal to President Viktor Yanukovich, the speaker of the parliament, the head of the parliament's committee on press freedom, law enforcement bodies, foreign journalists and civil society.

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