A protest against government censorship in Ukraine is receiving unexpected attention thanks to some unscripted comments from President Viktor Yanukovych.
About a dozen demonstrators tried to upset his speech to the annual World Newspaper Congress.
“Ukraine has made its way, without exaggeration, from total censorship to an open society,” Yanukovich told the conference as his security guards ripped banners saying “Stop censorship”
from protesters’ hands.
Yanukovych vowed to uphold democratic principles and media freedoms, however later in his address he called on journalists to maintain “bias” – an apparent slip of the tongue.
But critics claim it clearly demonstrated his commitment to freedom and democracy is merely lip service.
Investigative reporter, Mustafa Nayem accused Yanukovych of being a cynical liar: “It’s not a secret to anyone that the media atmosphere under President Yanukovych has worsened drastically,” he said.
Many media watchdogs say press freedoms have waned since Yanukovych came to power two years ago, with the majority of televsion channels controlled by magnates loyal to the government.