In Digest, Ukraine

Statement by the International Federation of Journalists, April 17, 2015

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its regional group, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), are appalled by the murder of journalist Oles Buzyna, gunned down last 16 April near his house in Kiev. Both Federations have demanded an immediate and independent investigation into his death.

International Federation of Journalists“There has to be quick and prompt investigation of the murder of Oles Buzyna to end speculation around this case”, said Sergiy Tomilenko, the First Secretary of National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU), affiliate of both IFJ/EFJ.

According to media, the Department of Public Relations Research Affairs of Ukraine in Kiev reported that Buzyna was shot at around 12:20 (CEST) in Shevchenko district, near his house. The Interior Ministry, Anton Herashchenko, claimed that the gunmen escaped in a dark blue Ford Focus car with a foreign license plate.

Buzyna was a controversial figure in Kiev as a journalist, TV presenter and former editor-in-chief of the Russian language Kiev-based newspaper Segodnia. He was known for his pro-Russia views and was a key witness in a criminal case related to a pro-Russia rally in Kiev. Previously in 2012 he had run for a seat in parliament on the Party of the Regions ticket.

“We are shocked by the killing of Oles Buzyna. Our thoughts are with his family and friends,” said the IFJ President Jim Boumelha. “Controversial figure or not, journalists must never be targeted for their reporting or their views. The IFJ urges a swift and independent investigation to bring the perpetrators of this shocking murder to justice. ”

Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, the EFJ President, said “The continuous targeting of journalists must stop. All responsible governments and international institutions must fulfill their obligations and commitment to ensure the safety of journalist and fight against impunity especially in times of conflict.”

Buzyna’s murder is being linked to the killing of former parliament deputy Oleg Kalashnikov, shot down hours earlier. Kalashnikov was accused of orchestrating anti-Maidan violence under Yanukovich.

Yuriy Lukanov, President of the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine (IMTUU), also affiliate of IFJ/EFJ, stressed that “the numerous beatings, torture and killings of journalists during Maidan and the Revolution of Dignity, which have not been properly investigated and the guilty were not punished – now generate a new wave of violence against journalists. Impunity for crimes creates a new wave of crimes”.

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 134 countries. For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 17.

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