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Ukrainian Canadian Congress condemns attack on journalist and ongoing reprisals

December 25, 2013 – Ottawa. The Ukrainian Canadian Congress condemns the brutal attack on Tatyana Chornovil, a journalist with Ukrainskaya Pravda.

“Is it coincidental that Ms. Chornovil published an exposé on the lavish lifestyle of Interior Minister Vitali Zakharchenko and later that night is attacked and brutally beaten?” asked Paul Grod, UCC President.  “This is yet one more very sad example of the intimidation of journalists and civic activists.  We call upon President Yanukovych to put an end to the reprisals and to guarantee the safety of Ukraine’s citizens.”

Tetiana Chornovil after assault

According the news reports, Tatyana Chornovil was on her way home from Independence Square when she was followed and forced off the highway by a Porsche Cayenne jeep   Two assailants broke the window of her car and beat her.  She has been hospitalized and is being treated for serious injuries.  Earlier in the day Ms. Chornovil published an exposé of the residential compound of Interior Minister Zakharchenko –

Several incidents of intimidation and violence involving journalists and protesters across Ukraine over the past week have been widely reported.  These incidents have been criticized by western diplomatic missions and by many political leaders in Canada including Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird.

Today (Christmas Day) Minister Baird tweeted:

“I deplore the brutal beating of Tetyana Chornovol – a prominent journalist and activist in #Ukraine 1/”

“#Ukraine authorities must rapidly investigate this barbaric act of violence, and prosecute perpetrators to the full extent of the law. 2/”

The Congress calls upon the President of Ukraine to bring to justice those members of his government that are responsible for the series of attacks and selective persecution of journalists and civic activists over the past several weeks.

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