Journalists Make Statement on 17th Anniversary of Gongadze’s Murder
September 15 – On the eve of the 17th anniversary of Ukrainian journalist Georgiy Gongadze’s disappearance and subsequent murder, the media community and activists urged all elected officials in a joint statement to stop political speculation about Gongadze, Pavel Sheremet’s murder, and other cases of violence against journalists.
The activists said “more than 17 years have passed since Gongadgze’s murder, but those who ordered that resonant crime have not yet been identified.” They demanded the General Prosecutor’s office complete the investigation, announce suspects, or disclose pre-trial investigation materials available now because it is technically impossible to collect new evidence after so many years have passed since the crime.
The media community and activists emphasized the need to reinforce the investigation into Sheremet’s case and called for a formal appeal to the European Union and United States’ diplomatic missions in Ukraine to enlist law enforcement from their countries to assist.
The following organizations signed the statement: the Institute of Mass Information (IMI), Detector Media, the Center for Democracy and Rule of Law, the Journalism Ethics Commission, Hromadske.ua, Public Radio, Center UA, the Human Rights Information Center, the Along with You information agency, the Independent Media Council, Internews-Ukraine, the Suspilnist Foundation, and Ukrainska Pravda.
As reported by IMI, 173 cases of violations of freedom of speech were recorded during the first eight months of 2017 in Ukraine, excluding the temporarily occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts [regions] and Crimea. Most were for preventing journalists from pursuing their professional activities (54 cases), restriction of access to public information (23 cases), and physical threats and intimidation (21 cases).
Read the text of full statement in Ukrainian on Detector Media’s website.