Press Freedom Watchdog Concerned About Attacks on Journalists in Ukraine

A global press freedom group has urged Ukrainian authorities to investigate the recent attack on anti-corruption journalist Volodymyr Sedov and to hold those responsible accountable.

Volodimyr Sedov UkraineUkrainian journalist Volodymir Sedov shows wounds after being attacked. (Photo: Седов Владимир/Facebook, License)According to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Sedov, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper Visti Ananivshchyna, stated that on July 12, unidentified individuals attacked him from behind in a park near his home in the southern city of Ananiv. They knocked him unconscious and trampled on his right hand.

Shortly after the incident, the 68-year-old shared a video and photos on Facebook showing his bruised face and wounded, broken fingers. He mentioned that his assailants stepped on his fingers to warn him to stop writing.

Sedov explained to CPJ that an unknown number of assailants struck him on the head, rendering him unconscious for a few moments. Upon regaining consciousness shortly after the attack, he allegedly recognized a local criminal, whom he often wrote about, fleeing the scene.

After the assault on Sedov, local police stated that they were investigating the incident and had initiated a criminal case for "violence against a journalist in connection with their lawful professional activity."

"No journalist should be subjected to such brutal violence for investigative reporting in the public interest," stated CPJ's Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator, Gulnoza Said.

She emphasized that Ukrainian authorities must hold the suspected attackers accountable and "ensure Sedov can work safely."

CPJ reported that both the Ananiv municipal council and the police headquarters for Odesa Region, where the city is located, did not respond to emailed requests for comment.

The watchdog noted that it is also investigating two other cases in Ukraine, including one in the northern region of Rivne, where unidentified attackers set fire to journalist Vlad Isaev's car on June 15.

According to CPJ, on the same night, in the same city, unknown assailants attempted to set fire to the home of former journalist Oleksandr Namozov.