Ukraine: IFJ condemns violent attack on journalist Vadym Komarov
Brussels, 6th May 2019- Investigative journalist Vadym Komarov is in a coma after being assaulted by an unidentified person on 4th May. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) join their affiliate the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) in condemning the attack and urge the Ukrainian authorities to ensure a safe working environment for journalists and bring those responsible to justice.
According to the police, Komarov was attacked early in the morning on 4th May as he was walking in the city centre of Cherkasy, Ukraine. He was severely beaten and hospitalised. The police have launched a criminal case into a murder attempt.
A local journalist, Komarov wrote frequently on issues such as corruption, embezzlement of budget funds or illegal construction. In 2016 he survived a shooting.
NUJU chairman, Sergiy Tomilenko, said: “Vadym Komarov is in intensive care in an extremely difficult condition. His job often irritated many in Cherkassy who had power and a lot of money. We urge the police to properly investigate this brutal attack against a journalist. No one in Ukraine should be allowed to intimidate journalists with impunity.”
IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “We join our affiliate in strongly condemning this brutal assault. We express our solidarity with Vadym and his family. Reporters investigating corruption are essential to democracy and it is important that the authorities protect them. Now those responsible must be brought to justice because impunity encourages a climate of violence against journalists.” NUJU has already recorded 23 physical attacks on journalists in 2019.