Ukraine: Press freedom violations June 2019
04 Jul 2019

Index on Censorship’s Monitoring and Advocating for Media Freedom project tracks press freedom violations in five countries: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine. Learn more.

2 Incidents

Local newspaper editor assaulted

22 June 2019 — Olexander Nakaznenko, a Zorya Pryirpinnya editor, was assaulted by the village council deputy Yury Marchuk in Gostomel, IMI reported.

According to the Zorya Pryirpinnya website, Nakaznenko said “it happened at the Gostomel market during lunch time, when I brought the new issue of my newspaper to hand out there. The deputy of the Gostomel village council, Yuri Marchuk, who saw me with a stack of newspapers, at first wouldn’t allow me to pass and picked at me with insults and threats. When I passed by him… he ran after me and hit me in the back of my head with his fist from behind”. Nakaznenko told Marchuck that his actions were illegal, and the latter knocked the smartphone out of his hands. That part of the encounter was caught on camera.

After the incident, Nakaznenko filed a complaint to the police. He connected the assault with his journalists professional activities, as he has long criticised the work of the Gostomelian deputy Yury Marchuk in the newspaper.


Categories: Physical Assault/Injury

Source of violation: Government/State Agency/Public official(s)/Political party

Camerperson severely assaulted

7 June 2019 — Unidentified individuals severely beat Vadym Makaryuk , a cameraman for the 24th channel and Visti.News portal, during a mass brawl at the Barabashovo marketplace in Kharkiv, 24th channel reported. 

According to the National Police, a the mob assaulted Makaryuk as he was filming an altercation at the market. They sprayed tear gas in his eyes, punched him in the face, destroyed his camera and stole the memory card.  The incident happened during the clashes between a right-wing group the National Corps, war veterans in the Donbas and merchants in the market. According to the market managers, the conflict arose due to a property dispute.

The journalist was taken to the hospital, where doctors diagnosed a hemorrhagic stroke, which was the result of cerebral hemorrhage caused by the assault. Makaryuk is in critical condition at the hospital.

Police opened criminal proceedings under the articles “threats or violence against a journalist”, “obstruction of journalists’ legal activities”, and “robbery”.


12 June 2019 – The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, condemned the attack on Vadym Makaryuk, and called on the Ukrainian authorities to thoroughly investigate the incident. “I condemn the attack and beating of Vadim Makaryuk, and urge the authorities to do their utmost to bring the perpetrators of this attack swiftly to justice,” Désir said. “Targeting and attacking journalists because of their work is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated.”

12 June 2019 – A court in Kharkiv refused to detain a man involved in the brutal beating of Makaryuk, considering round-the-clock house arrest was sufficient, Interfax-Ukraine reported. According to the court’s decision, a 26-year-old unemployed Kharkiv resident Kozlyuk who was involved in the assault on Makaryuk would have to spend one month and 28 days under house arrest. Immediately after the hearing, the lawyer of the suspect said that the defense would appeal the decision. The press service of the prosecutor’s office also announced their intention to appeal this decision of the court.


Categories: Physical Assault/Injury, Attack to Property 

Source of violation: Unknown, Government/State Agency/Public official(s)/Political party

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