OSCE media freedom representative condemns killing of journalist in Ukraine

February 20, 2014

VIENNA, 19 February 2014 – OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today called on the Ukrainian authorities to ensure journalists’ safety following last night’s violence in Kyiv during which Vesti daily journalist Vyacheslav Veremyi was killed.

“I was very saddened to learn that Veremyi was killed last night and my sincere condolences go out to his family and colleagues“, Mijatović said. “Veremyi’s death is the worst act of violence suffered by media members since the start of the protests in December.  Journalists’ safety must be ensured, especially during disturbances.”

According to media reports assailants opened fire on Veremyi who was shot in the chest and died in the hospital. According to information available to the Representative’s Office  27 journalists were targeted and  injured during last night’s violence (see list of names below), bringing the total of injured journalists to 165 since the unrest started.

“There is no excuse for not acting immediately. I repeat my call to the authorities to refrain from targeting members of the media and to ensure journalists’ safety. Common sense and conscience must prevail, the media are not terrorists and are not at fault for the existing crisis,” Mijatović said.

An adviser from the Representative’s office is now in Kyiv as part of an international mission of the International Federation of Journalists, the European Federation of Journalists, the World Association of Newspapers, Article 19, Reporters Without Borders, International Media Support (IMS) and the Open Society Foundations to assess the problems facing the country’s journalists.

The Representative will visit Kiev in the coming days.

The journalists injured during last night’s violence are: Glib Garanych – Reuters, Maksym Trebukhov – news photographer, Yevhenia Taganovych and Leonid Taranenko – Channel 5, Yevhen Kotenko – Holos Stolytsi, Oleksander Kozachenko – UNN photographer, Maksym Trebukhov and Azad Safarov – Channel 5, Sergiy Klymenko – Channel 5, Anatoliy Morozov – HromadskyTV, Andriy Gudzenko – PHL, Alla Khotsianivska and Artem Bagrov – 1+1 TV channel, Olena Maksymenko – freelance photographer, Ivan Lyubysh-Kirdey – 1+1 TV channel, Sergiy Holovniov – Insider, Oleksiy Byk – Glavkom, Yarmea Horodchuk – Dilova Stolytsia, Kyrylo Chebotin – Kommersant, Volodymyr Borodin – Vesti, Maksym Kudymets – Insider, Igor Lypynsky – Ukraina TV, Marianna Hardy – Chernihiv-info, Igor Volosiankin – Uyezdnye Novosti, Oleksander Ratushniak, Mykyta Didenko –  Hromadske.TV, Oleksiy Kondakov – TV channel Business, Oleksander Mykhelson – Ukrainsky Tyzhden, Victor Hatsenko – From UA.

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observes media developments in all 57 OSCE participating States. She provides early warning on violations of freedom of expression and media freedom, and promotes full compliance with OSCE media freedom commitments. Learn more at www.osce.org/fom, Twitter: @OSCE_RFoM and on facebook.com/osce.rfom.