World Association of News Publishers

Protest Campaign - Ukraine, 3 December 2013

Protest Campaign - Ukraine, 3 December 2013

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His Excellency Viktor Yanukovych,
President of Ukraine,
Kiev, Ukraine


3 December 2013
Your Excellency,

We are writing on behalf of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum to express our deep concern over the events that took place this past weekend (30 November – 1 December) in which at least 47 journalists were physically attacked while covering pro-European Union protests around Kiev.

Your Excellency, we remind you of our discussions regarding press freedom concerns around our 64th World Newspaper Congress, held in Kiev in September 2012. Furthermore, we draw your attention to the address you made during the opening ceremony, in which you said, “All political parties in our country agree that the way forward is a completely open and democratic society, and freedom of speech and independent media play a critical role today and in the future.”

Mr President, given the horrific images and detailed accounts WAN-IFRA has received from independent, verified sources in Ukraine over the last 48 hours, your public commitment to free speech and an independent media appear to have been entirely undermined by the actions of your own security services.

We call on you in the strongest possible terms to order immediate, independent investigations into every case of violence and intimidation reported against journalists and media employees, whose job it is to cover the news regardless of whether it is of help or hindrance to your government’s political aspirations.

We respectfully remind you that it is the duty of the state to ensure the safety of all citizens, including journalists, and to guarantee the necessary conditions for them to be able to carry out their duties without hindrance or intimidation. Given the particular circumstances surrounding events of the past few days, it is imperative the media be permitted to carry out their essential role of informing the public at this crucial time for democracy in Ukraine.
We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience,

Yours sincerely,

Tomas Brunegård


World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers
Erik Bjerager


World Editors Forum

WAN-IFRA is the global organisation for the world’s newspapers and news publishers, with formal representative status at the United Nations, UNESCO and the Council of Europe. The organisation groups 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries.


Larry Kilman's picture

Larry Kilman


2013-12-04 09:50

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In countless countries, journalists, editors and publishers are physically attacked, imprisoned, censored, suspended or harassed for their work. WAN-IFRA is committed to defending freedom of expression by promoting a free and independent press around the world. Read more ...