Ukrainian media organizations call on authorities to expose masterminds of murder of journalist Georgiy Gongadze

Дата: 16 September 2016
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The non-governmental Ukrainian media organizations “Institute of Mass Information”, NGO “Media Detector”, the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, UA Center, Center for Democracy and Rule of Law call on the authorities to expose the main masterminds of murder of journalist Georgiy Gongadze.

This is reported by the Institute of Mass Information.

We, the representatives of Ukrainian media organizations, appeal to the President, Prime Minister, Interior Minister, Prosecutor General of Ukraine with the request to conduct systematic, prompt and quality investigation into the attacks on journalists.

Over 15 years have passed since the murder of journalist Georgiy Gongadze, and we call on the government to make a final decision about the possibility to establish the masterminds of murder of journalist Gongadze and, finally, name the main suspects.

Ukrainian media organizations do not question the legality of the sentence to Oleksiy Pukach, who was life sentenced. We believe it was an important step for Ukraine as a state to sentence a police general for a crime against journalists.

We also urge politicians and officials to stop political speculations about the Gongadze case and other cases involving aggression against journalists – any words will never replace investigations.

In 2016, the situation with investigations into the attacks on journalists has improved slightly compared to 2015. According to the Interior Ministry of Ukraine, during the first eight months of 2016, fifteen cases over preclusion of journalistic activities were investigated and directed to the court, compared to only three cases that had been investigated during the same period of the year 2015. However, the number of attacks on journalists still exceeds by several times the number of successfully investigated cases. The systematic work over investigations should definitely intensify. The aggressors that attacked journalists during the Revolution of Dignity have not been punished yet as well.

We demand that the government should systematically take the following steps, which are necessary to fully protect the right of citizens to information and to guarantee the unimpeded activity of journalists:

To find and punish the killers of journalist Pavel Sheremet. To conduct prompt and transparent investigations into the crimes against freedom of speech in Ukraine.

To ensure accountability and transparency of governmental institutions and officials. To regularly report to the public for their actions and comply with legislation on access to information.

To actively promote the creation of public broadcasting and privatization of printed media.

Traditionally, on September 16, rallies are held in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities to commemorate Georgiy Gongadze and all Ukrainian journalists who perished when fulfilling their professional activities.

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