Ukrainian journalists targeted and attacked

Journalists from television channel TVi have written an open letter to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, demanding that he intervene to stop the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) pressuring journalists. SBU has demanded that TVi present them with documents regarding a tender, the deal angered rival companies affiliated with the SBU’s director, Valeriy Khoroshkovskiy, whose wife runs one of TVi’s competitors. Journalists expressed concerns that SBU is turning into “a structure which backs personal and business interests of the head of the SBU, Valeriy Khoroshkovskiy, and members of his family”. And in a seperate incident on Tuesday, Ukrainian police intimidated journalists and camermen at the newspaper Ekspres. The paper’s director was arrested in Livy on charges of tax evasion. Journalists who came to the police station to cover the story claim they were handled brutally by police.  The paper had published an investigative report on corruption among lawmakers, triggering protests that disrupted traffic on a busy highway near Lviv. The attack is the fourth such incident involving journalists since the inauguration of President Viktor Yanukovych to the presidency in February.