Statement of BAJ on the Outbreak of Violence against Journalists in Ukraine
The Belarusian Association of Journalists expresses solidarity and support to our colleagues who are now trying to cover as broadly as possible the current events in Ukraine. We are indignant at the violent actions against our colleagues who perform their professional duties.
We are especially disturbed by the violence against journalists and peaceful civilians inflicted deliberately by officers of security squads.
According to estimates of our Ukrainian colleagues, at least 30 journalists have suffered in Ukraine by December 1: a photo correspondent Gleb Garanich, a cameraman of Euronews Roman Kuprijanov, cameramen Alexey Zakletski and Anton Chernyshov, a correspondent of Ukrainskij Tyzhden magazine Valerij Burlakov, a photographer Anatol Stepanov, a photo correspondent of Insider Maxim Kudinets, a photo correspondent of Associated Press Sergei Chuzavkov, a Polish journalist Pavel Penionzhyk, a journalist of Ukrainska Pravda Mustafa Nayem, a photo correspondent of the League Business Inform agency Alexandr Perevoznik, and many others who have suffered for the last several days.
The Belarusian experience shows that such treatment of the press brings long-term and grave effects to the detriment of all sides of the conflict.
The Belarusian Association of Journalists urges the President and the Government of Ukraine to stop the unlawful actions applied against our colleagues. Being in the center of events is just a journalists’ job, but not a reason to try brutal force on them.
We call on the authorities to investigate each incident of attack on our colleagues, and to ensure normal conditions for journalists' work. Absence of reaction to the violence looks like connivance.
We call on editorial offices to demand that journalists’ rights be fully observed and that violators be brought to justice.
We also ask our colleagues to keep to objective coverage, remembering of their mission and how many people all over the world are following the situation in Ukraine.
We wish all the journalists working in the epicenter of events to have all courage and professionalism.
Adopted by the BAJ Board