Heads of six broadcasting stations in Ukraine wrote an open letter to acting president Oleksandr Turchynov appealing for protection for their employees, reports Ukrainska Pravda, April 24.
In their appeal, the executives expressed concern about threats of violence against journalists working in different cities in Eastern Ukraine and the intermittent interruptions and partial cessations of broadcasts of Ukrainian channels in these areas.
“We are convinced that, especially in the crisis situation in the country today, we need to pay more attention to the safety of journalists and to support their professional activities,” the TV executives stated.
“We call on you to carry out the laws of Ukraine regarding the protection of the rights of journalists, specifically to ensure their safety in certain cities in Eastern Ukraine with the help of the Security Service of Ukraine as well as ensure the uninterrupted broadcasting in the eastern regions of the country,” the letter states.
The open letter was signed by the following individuals: Yehor Benkendorf, chairman, Inter TV Channel; Oleksandr Tkachenko, CEO, 1+1 TV Channel; Maryna Myrhorodska, CEO, Ukraine TV Channel; Volodymyr Borodyanskyy, Chairman of the Management Board, STB TV channel; Oleksandr Bohutskyy, Director-President, ICTV TV channel; and Volodymyr Lokotko, CEO, Novy TV channel.
As has been reported, in areas controlled by pro-Russian militants, journalists have been repeatedly detained or even kidnapped. In Sloviansk, militants have detained the American journalist Simon Petrovsky, whom they accuse of collaborating with the Right Sector. Additionally, Yevhen Hapych, a journalist from Kolomyya, and his brother Hennadiy are being detained in the same city.