According to media reports, over 50 journalists were injured in the clashes between police and protesters engaged in running street battles in Kiev and other cities over the weekend. The incidents occurred as thousands of Ukrainian citizens took to the streets to call for the resignation of President Viktor Yanukovych and his party’s government. The protests began because the President refused to sign a deal for closer relations with the EU.
It is believed that many of the journalists were injured on Sunday, December 1, when the demonstrations peaked and protestors broke into Kiev’s mayoral office and barricaded themselves in, while another group attempted to storm the president’s office.
“It is utterly appalling to see such widespread violence against journalists in the Ukraine and blatant disregard for their lives and freedoms,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. “We send a message of support to our Ukrainian affiliates, the Independent Media Trade-Union of Ukraine (IMTUU) and the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU), and we offer our solidarity to all media workers in Ukraine during this traumatic period.