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Ukrainian PM reverses journalist ban in wake of protest

Ukrainian PM reverses journalist ban in wake of protest
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Ukrainian prime minister Mykola Azarov has reversed a decision to strip ten reporters of their media credentials, after more than 100 journalists took part in a demonstration in Kiev.

The ten were barred from government meetings after staging a silent protest during a Council of Ministers meeting on Wednesday.

They claimed that police failed to protect two colleagues, who were allegedly set upon when clashes broke out between government supporters and opponents at a rally in the capital on Saturday.

Serhiy Burlakov, from the Ministry of Internal Affairs,praised the police’s actions.

“The police acted with tolerance, care and restraint compared to similar actions of law enforcement bodies abroad – in Europe, in Britain etc – where police act with a measure of brutality to quell riots,” he said.

However, the situation has prompted the European Union urge a swift resolution.

EU spokesman Peter Stano said the incident on Saturday must be fully investigated.

“We have expressed concerns about inaction of the police and we called upon Ukrainian authorities to effectively and quickly investigate those cases of violence including against journalists.

“We’re of course following very closely the follow-up and the actions taken because it’s very important that these incidents, these actions are properly and effectively investigated,” he continued.

Wednesday’s protest saw the ten reporters wearing placards reading “Today it’s a female journalist, tomorrow your wife, your sister your daughter – do something.”