Ukraine hosted top international diplomats for an OSCE security group summit in Kyiv on Thursday. The meeting is overshadowed by two weeks of protests after Ukraine’s rejection of an EU trade deal.
Journalists gave arriving delegates statements and photos of reporters and cameramen beaten by riot police while they were covering the protests last week.
Nataliya Sokolenko, journalist, explained to euronews: “We came here to meet the foreign ministers arriving for the conference and we gave them exact information about what happened to journalists covering protests outside the Presidential Administration. We handed out photos showing Berkut (riot police) preventing journalists from doing their job,” she said.
Many leaders are concerned over reports of journalists and members of the media being assaulted and targeted by security forces.
Dunja Mijatovic, OSCE representative on Freedom of the Media told euronews:
“I decided to write to the Chairman’s Office OSCE and foreign minister of Ukraine Leonid Kozhara in order to ask for swift movements in relation to these attacks that I find of great concern. I raised my voice also for your colleague Roman Kupriyanov who was attacked, and many others, as we know there were more than 40 journalists that were attacked and beaten mainly by law enforcement agencies.”
The Summit was opened by prime minister Myloka Azarov who said the protests in Ukraine are usual, just like in any European country.
He described the situation as a temporary inconvenience that will soon be overcome.