VIENNA, 28 June 2014 – OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today expressed her concern about steps of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” aimed at controlling media of the Donetsk region in Ukraine.
“I condemn the steps forcing media outlets to register and to report in favour of the illegal armed groups,” Mijatović said. “Censored reporting under the threat of harassment and intimidation gravely violates freedom of the media and is unacceptable.”
On 26 June the self-proclaimed authorities issued a ‘decree’ demanding all media outlets to register with the “ministry of information and mass communication” within ten days. The absence of such registration would reportedly lead to banning of the media activities. The ‘decree’ also extends to online resources, including individual bloggers, and covers distributors of print media.
Also on 26 June, the editorial office of ProGorod newspaper in Torez in Donetsk region was attacked. The perpetrators destroyed and seized all equipment, and threatened journalists.
Mijatovic also noted cases of abduction in Donetsk region of Boris Yuzhik, the editor of Druzhkovskiy Rabochii newspaper, on 27 June, and Sergei Dolgov, the editor of Mariupol’s Vestnik Priazovya newspaper on 18 June. Dolgov was allegedly beaten and detained by the Ukrainian Security Service.
“I call on the Ukrainian authorities to swiftly and thoroughly investigate these attacks and bring the perpetrators to justice,” Mijatović said.
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.