The IWMF Denounces Attacks on Journalists in Ukraine

The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) is distressed by increasing attacks on investigative journalists in Ukraine, most recently against RFE/RL female journalist Katerina Kaplyuk. Intimidation and harm directed against working journalists in Ukraine is an obstruction of press freedom, and must be prevented.

The latest incident occurred on March 6th, 2019, when Kaplyuk and cameraman Borys Trotsenko from RFE/RL’s award-winning “Schemes: Corruption in Details” team were assaulted by local officials in Chabany while investigating the allocation of state lands for private use. In addition to enduring physical harm and loss of gear, the Schemes team was prevented from covering the story.

Since late 2017 multiple teams of journalists have faced threats and harassment in Ukraine, including what the European Court of Human Rights deemed illegal surveillance of privileged and private reporter data in 2018. Several of the attacks have stemmed from investigations of Ukrainian politicians, government officials and prominent business leaders.

The burden now lies on Ukrainian authorities to ensure that journalists can safely continue their jobs. In order to maintain democracy, journalists must be allowed to function without censorship. The IWMF urges the authorities in Ukraine to hold perpetrators to account without impunity.