Independent and professional journalism is one of the main signs of a truly democratic society, and attacks and interference in the work of journalists are unacceptable for our country. That is why Transparency International Ukraine calls on the authorities to ensure the most transparent and honest investigation of the attack on journalists of the Schemes project.
October 4, journalists of the investigative project Schemes were attacked at the central office of the state-owned Ukreximbank during the recording of an interview with Yevhen Metsher, board chair of this financial institution. The incident occurred right in the office of the institution head.
Journalists often stand guard and expose the most blatant cases of abuse of power, investigate corruption of officials, and talk about the most important problems of society. That is why their activity is protected both at the level of Ukrainian legislation and at the level of important international agreements.
This is not the first precedent of such physical interference and influence on the work of investigative journalists. However, there is no doubt that this particular case is the most blatant in recent times and has caused real outrage among the professional community and the public.
Yevhen Metsher, board chair of Ukreximbank has already announced he would resign for the duration of the investigation. However, we are convinced that all participants in this event on the part of the financial institution should be immediately dismissed, and the heads of law enforcement agencies and the Cabinet of Ministers, which is the main shareholder of the bank, should monitor the transparency of the investigation.
The incident with the attack on investigative journalists right in the office of the state bank is a real challenge to Ukrainian democracy. The public cannot tolerate such actions, and only quick and effective actions of the authorities will ensure that such cases are avoided in the future.
The incident with the attack on investigative journalists right in the office of the state bank is a real challenge to Ukrainian democracy.