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Unidentified assailant shoots journalist in Mykolayiv

(IMI/IFEX) - On 16 October 2011, Oleksandr Vlashenko, a journalist for the local "Nash gorod Nikolaev" newspaper and the http://novosti-N.mk.ua website, was attacked in the city of Mykolayiv.

An assailant shot the journalist in the head with a firearm and took his bag, which contained a Nikon camera and two mobile phones.

A passerby called the police at the journalist's request, but a subsequent attempt to locate Vlashenko's assailant was unsuccessful. The Lenin Regional Department of Internal Affairs in Mykolayiv opened a criminal case regarding the attack, treating it as a robbery.

Anatolii Onofriychuk, editor-in-chief of "Nash gorod Nikolaev", spoke to IMI. When asked if he is associating the attack on the journalist with his professional activities, he said, "Recently Vlashenko has been writing articles about corruption involving local authorities, so it is probably connected to his journalistic activities."

IMI appealed to the law enforcement authorities to provide a public report on the investigation into Vlashenko's case and inform the public about the motives behind the crime. IMI points out that such cases are indicative of a deterioration of freedom of speech in Ukraine.

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