The case of 112 Ukraine journalist Oleg Reshetnyak beaten in August 2019 is passed to the court. During the investigation, five persons were identified and notified on suspicion in the attack and preventing of the legal professional activity of the journalist and production unit of 112 Ukraine. On February 19, the indictments were sent to the court as Chair of the National Union of the Journalists of Ukraine Serhiy Tomilenko reported on Facebook.
According to Tomilenko, such information was provided by the Chief Department of the National Police in Kharkiv region signed by acting head of the investigation department Yevhen Masliy: “In facts of the events on August 28, 2019, in Zolochiv village, where unknown attacked the production unit of 112 Ukraine filming the story about illegal production of lumber in Kharkiv region and grabbed the camera of journalist Oleg Reshetnyak, the Investigation Department of Zolochiv police unit of the Chief Department of the National Police in Kharkiv region put data on the united register of pretrial investigation. During the pretrial investigation, five persons were identified who were notified on suspicion in the commitment of the criminal offenses against journalist Oleg Reshetnyak and the production unit of 112 Ukraine. Following the investigation, the indictments against the persons of interests were filed to the court on February 19, 2020”.
The affected journalist stated at the comment to the National Union of the Journalists that the preparatory meetings take place.
“The prosecutor, in this case, is pretty smart. I plan to come to the court on the merits soon,” Reshetnyak said.
On August 28, 2019, the unknown thugs attacked the production unit of 112 Ukraine TV channel; the team was filming a story about illegal production of lumber.
The incident took place when journalist Oleg Reshetnyak went live on the air and described the situation, but they noticed him and took his camera.
"We were shooting one of the local households; we used a quadrocopter to get the clear idea of the size of the lumber production. Then, workers and some aggressive lawyer rushed here. We've got flat tires now, and the car is blocked,” he said.
The TV channel's shooting unit called KORD, the special police force to arrive at the site.
“The attackers demand that we give them the USB drives that we used to save our videos; we refuse to five them. They threaten to deal with us; they are swearing. There's a car with EU license plates standing by, it blocked the road, and the tires are flat...", the journalist added.
After the attack, Oleg Reshetnyan commented about his state:
“I will live but it hurts to walk and talk on the third day. The doctors say that it is fine. I passed a thorough medical examination. There were moments, which raised the concern. That is why the doctors held extra examination”.
Totally, the investigators, prosecutors and workers of the operative units questioned 48 people as witnesses during the first days after the attack. 22 regulations were issues to gather the fingerprints of 19 witnesses and three victims.
The National Union of the Journalists of Ukraine underlined that only precedents of the strong punishment of the attackers on the journalist might stop new expressions of the physical aggression against mass media representatives.
“The fact that the beating of Oleg Reshetnyak took place on live has not stopped the attackers. The total impunity for the crimes against the journalist is the reason of such brutal attacks. That is why, the court over the attackers on the production unit of the national TV channel in Kharkiv region should be illustrative for whole Ukraine,” Tomilenko noted.
After the incident, 112 Ukraine TV channel asked the law enforcement bodies to urgently intervene in the situation, which occurred in Zolochev village, Kharkiv region.
Interior Ministry’s employees detained over 30 people who attacked 112 Ukraine crew.
One of the most active partakers of the attack at 112 Ukraine crew at forestry in Kharkiv region was served with charges in the commitment of the criminal offense, preventing of legal professional activity.