On August 28, the production unit of 112 Ukraine TV channel, which was filming the illegal deforestation in Kharkiv region, was attacked by the workers of one of the forestries. Firstly, our journalists were locked in the car with flat tires and then the journalist was beaten during broadcasting. Moreover, they demanded to delete the video with the footage.
The fact that the journalists acted within the law, provided the press pass, did not stop the attackers: our production unit was beaten and the service car and cameras were damages.
Our journalists worked in Kharkiv region, where the mass illegal deforestation is observed. The total sum of the loss for the illegal deforestation only in Zhovtnevy Forestry makes about $8,000 and within the region, that sum may reach $39,600.
We believe that today's attack on journalists is a direct consequence of the impunity of previous attacks on media representatives.
We ask the Ukrainian authorities and law enforcement agencies to stop lawlessness in regard to the attacks on journalists and freedom of speech.
“We appeal to the authorities to clearly and decisively state that one must not use force against journalists in Ukraine. If these violations are not stopped, the consequences will be even more depressing. After all, free media are the key to freedom and development of the state. We hope that law enforcement authorities will find executors and customers of both today's attack and past attacks on freedom of speech in Ukraine,” the Director-General of the TV channel Yehor Benkendorf said.
112 Ukraine channel expresses gratitude to the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the prompt response and assistance to the camera crew of the channel.