30 May 2018 13:21

Ukrainian ombudsman says to keep probe into Russian journalist Babchenko's killing under control

KYIV. May 30 (Interfax) - Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada Human Rights Commissioner Lyudmyla Denisova called for setting up a state security system guaranteeing protection of journalists.

"The state should set up an efficient security system guaranteeing protection of journalists' rights while they perform their professional duties," Denisova said in a statement posted on her website in the wake of the killing of Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko in Kyiv.

"Society expects efficient steps from the authorities in investigating Arkady Babchenko's killing and other high-profile cases dealing with the violation of journalists' rights. This is a challenge both to the entire law enforcement system and civil society. We should prove today that our state can stand out in fighting for freedom of speech," the ombudsman's press service quoted her as saying.

Denisova said she would keep the probe into Babchenko's killing under her personal control.

The statement also cites some information on violations of freedom of speech in Ukraine. In particular, it says that, based on the Institute of Mass Information's data, 293 violations of freedom of speech were recorded in Ukraine in 2017, including 29 instances of assaults and beatings of journalists and 37 instances of open threats.