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Ukraine Denies Journalists Beaten, Uses Logic Like Egypt on Al Jazeera

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 23 -- When Ukraine's Ambassador Yuriy Sergeyev held a UN press conference on June 20, Inner City Press asked him about the killing and alleged beating of journalists, among other topics. Video here

   Later on June 20, Inner City Press asked Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin about Sergeyev's answers. UN Video here, from Minute 26:18.

   Now on June 23, Ukraine's Mission to the UN has responded, as to the journalists with this:

"Lie: Russian 'Zvezda' correspondents were bitten and injured before they confessed to the TV cameras and apologized for being regularly lying on the real situation in Eastern Ukraine
Truth: 90% of all Russian so-called journalists working in Ukraine are instructed by their Kremlin patrons to produce anti-Ukrainian fake TV pictures only for internal Russian consumption. No physical or moral violence was used against two 'Zvezvda' correspondents."

  Beyond the dispute about the journalists being beaten -- or "bitten" as the response has it -- there is a problem with this logic, combated by the Free UN Coalition for Access.  This is the same type of accusation that Egypt is using against the Al Jazeera journalists: that they are agents.

  It is the same logic that outgoing French Ambassador Gerard Araud used on April 15, 2014, when he told a Lebanese reporter, "You are not a journalist, you are an agent." In that case, the UN's in-house United Nations Correspondents Association Executive Committee continues to "drag its feet" in offering a defense for its dues-paying member from Lebanon. We will have more on this.


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