Reporters Without Borders

Local newspaper editor badly injured in assault

Published on Wednesday 31 March 2010.
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Reporters Without Borders deplores the violent attack that Vasyl Demyaniv, the editor of the local weekly Kolomyiski Visnyk, suffered as he was returning home on the evening of 23 March in the western city of Kolomyia.

Demyaniv was hospitalised with severe head injuries and a broken leg following the attack, in which unidentified assailants repeatedly kicked him and beat him about the head and body. Doctors described his condition as serious and said he would need three months to recover.

The National Union of Journalists believes the assault was linked to Demyaniv’s work. Kolomyiski Visnyk is known for not being afraid to speak its mind. Demyaniv had not received any threats but the newspaper has long been harassed by the local authorities.

The police are not convinced Demyaniv was targeted because of his work and are more inclined to think it was an ordinary robbery. For the time being the case is being treated as “hooliganism” under article 296 of the Ukrainian criminal code and “grievous injury” under article 121.

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