Ukraine19 November 2004
Journalist brutally beaten in Kirovograd
Reporters Without Borders condemned a brutal attack on Alexander
Danutsa, head of news and presenter on TV-Stymul in Kirovograd,
central Ukraine in ongoing systematic harassment of independent media
ahead of presidential elections on 21 November.
The worldwide press freedom organisation warned the interior minister
Mykola Bilokon in a letter "what might happen next to Alexander
Danutsa" and urged him "to do everything possible to protect the
Danutsa was attacked in the early evening of 18 November as he got
into the lift at the Turist Hotel that houses his TV studios. Two
blackclad men followed him in and seized his camera and videotape and
then brutally beat him.
The tape contained evidence linking local authorities to fraudulent
activities in advance of polling.
His assailants told him that it was his last warning and that he
should stop reporting on the election campaign. He was taken to
hospital with concussion and bruising.
Danutsa said he had been receiving constant threats in connection
with his reporting. A few days earlier an anonymous caller told him,
"there’s a plot reserved for you at the cemetery" and on another
occasion, "they are waiting for you at the hospital".
The channel itself has also received numerous threats since it began
broadcasting the news programme headed by Danutsa. TV-Stymul also
relays opposition television Kanal 5 in the Kirovograd region.