Press freedom in Ukraine must be upheld, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have demanded, following the brutal attack on journalist Tatyana Chornovol on Christmas Day.

According to media reports, freelance journalist Chornovol’s car was rammed on a road outside Kiev and she was badly beaten by assailants. On 27 December, as a preventative measure a Ukrainian court detained five suspects believed to be involved in the attack. Police have criminal proceedings against the suspects.

Chornolov is well known for her investigative reports into the affairs of Ukraine’s top officials, exposing their wealth and accusing many of involvement in dubious business practices. According to reports, shortly before she was attacked, she had published a blog in which she wrote about a “country manor” which she alleged was being constructed for Interior Minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko near Kiev.

The attack has sparked new anti-government protests on the streets of Kiev, while demonstrators also marched on President Viktor Yanukovych’s official residence outside the capital to demand his resignation.

“We strongly condemn this utterly appalling attack against the highly respected journalist Tatyana Chornovol and we call on the relevant authorities in Ukraine to carry out a thorough investigation into the disgraceful incident and ensure that all of those responsible answer for their crimes,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha.

“Tatyana’s attack marks the latest attempt to use intimidation and violence to prevent journalists in the country reporting on truth. Such blatant disregard for the rights and freedoms of media workers cannot be tolerated and we offer our solidarity and support to Tatyana and our colleagues in Ukraine who have shown such courage and conviction during this hugely traumatic time. ”

During December 25-26, protect actions against the beating of Chernovol were held across the Ukraine. NUJU’s and IMTUU’s regional brunches and various media organisations demanded the resignation of the Minister of Internal Affairs and called for those who attacked who to be punished.

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