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Journalist federations urge Poland to investigate interference in Ukrainian reporters' work exposing Poland's trade with Russia

Thursday, 14 March 2024, 20:26
Journalist federations urge Poland to investigate interference in Ukrainian reporters' work exposing Poland's trade with Russia
Stock photo: Getty Images

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have urged the Polish authorities to thoroughly investigate the deliberate interference by Polish law enforcement officers with the work of Ukrainian journalists from Ukrainska Pravda and Rayon.in.ua news outlets in carrying out their editorial tasks.

Source: a statement by IFJ-EFJ

Quote: "Since the beginning of 2024, Ukrainian journalists investigating Poland’s economic ties with Russia and Belarus have faced deliberate obstruction of their activities by Polish law enforcement officers."

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Details: It is noted that journalists from the online media outlets Ukrainska Pravda and Rayon.in.ua have faced serious obstacles to their professional work, ranging from vehicle searches to confiscation of equipment. Arrests and deportations have also been reported.

"The IFJ and the EFJ are alarmed by such persistent obstruction of the work of Ukrainian journalists in Poland that poses serious threats to the safety of journalists and the press freedom itself," the statement said.

The federations also urged the Polish authorities to take immediate measures to protect journalists, particularly to cancel the deportation of Yurii Konkevych and Oleksandr Pyliuk.

Read also: How Poland replaces Ukrainian agricultural products with Russian ones – investigation by Ukrainska Pravda

Background:

  • On 27 February, Ukrainska Pravda reporter Mykhailo Tkach reported an incident involving his detention by the police. Some Polish media outlets have also pointed to a connection between these two events.
  • Mykhailo Tkach was working with a camera operator near the Polish-Belarusian border (the Podlaskie Voivodeship borders with Belarusian territory), shooting footage about the transit of freight between Poland, Russia and Belarus.
  • Police officers approached him, showed him their ID, took him to the police station and searched his car and equipment before finally letting him go after four hours of questioning that involved special services.
  • Sevgil Musaieva, Editor-in-Chief of Ukrainska Pravda, noted that the issue was only resolved after news about it spread and the Ukrainian embassy in Poland was involved.
  • The Polish police initially denied detaining media representatives, but later acknowledged it. They explained that, before detaining the journalist Mykhailo Tkach from Ukrainska Pravda and his cameraman near the Polish-Belarusian border, they received a report from a 'concerned resident' about two men photographing and using a drone near the railway tracks in the village of Gołyszyn in Łuków County.
  • On 13 March, Ukrainian news agency Rayon.in.ua reported that two journalists who were investigating Poland's trade with Russia had been detained in Poland.

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