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Ukrainian parliament asks Polish counterparts to look into detention of Ukrainska Pravda journalists

Wednesday, 6 March 2024, 20:08
Ukrainian parliament asks Polish counterparts to look into detention of Ukrainska Pravda journalists
Mykhailo Tkach, Ukrainska Pravda journalist. Photo: Ukrainska Pravda

The Committee for Freedom of Speech of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine’s parliament) has sent an official request to the specialised commissions of Poland’s Sejm and Senate (Parliament), asking them to look into the reasons why journalists from Ukrainska Pravda were detained at the border and to submit this matter to parliamentary scrutiny.

Source: Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, MP from the Holos party and Chairman of the Committee, cited by European Pravda

Details: Yurchyshyn recalled the circumstances of the detention of journalist Mykhailo Tkach and cameraman Yaroslav Bondarenko during the filming of a story, noting that their mobile phones and memory cards containing footage they had filmed were seized, and that they were threatened with a lengthy detention and not permitted to contact anyone.


"This is not only an obstruction of journalistic activity but also a human rights violation. We have been waiting for a response from the Polish authorities, but to no avail. So, further to a decision of the Committee for Freedom of Speech, as its chairman, I have sent an official letter to the specialised commissions of the Senate and Sejm of Poland in order to find out the official reason for the actions taken by the law enforcement officers. I believe that Poland should take this matter under parliamentary scrutiny, since threatening journalists and interrogating them is not normal practice for a European state that supports freedom of speech," Yurchyshyn stated.

He noted that Ukraine appreciates Poland’s support in the war, but it cannot ignore these facts, and the committee awaited official responses from its Polish counterparts.

Mykhailo Tkach and his cameraman were arrested by Polish law enforcement officers close to the Polish-Belarusian border on 27 February while they were filming a story about the transit of goods between Poland, Russia and Belarus. Some of the footage was deleted by the Polish authorities. Editor-in-Chief of Ukrainska Pravda Sevğil Musaieva said the situation was only resolved after it was made public, and with support from Ukraine’s embassy in Poland.

The Polish police later provided their perspective on the situation.

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