New East Digital Archive

Ukraine bans, then pardons, two BBC journalists

Ukraine bans, then pardons, two BBC journalists
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in 2014 (Image: Michał Józefaciuk under a CC licence)

17 September 2015

Yesterday Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko blacklisted two BBC correspondents as “threats to national security”, along with several other foreign journalists and a host of Russian public figures. This afternoon he reversed his decision to ban the British journalists.

The decree, signed by Mr Poroshenko and published on the presidential website, listed 388 individuals as “promoting terrorist activities”, setting out the sanctions against them, ranging from entry bans to the freezing of their financial assets.

BBC Moscow correspondent Steve Rosenburg and producer Emma Wells were listed as banned from entering Ukraine, along with cameraman Anton Chicherov.

Andrew Roy, the BBC’s foreign editor, dubbed the sanctions against the BBC journalists a “shameful attack on media freedom” and “inappropriate and inexplicable measures to take against BBC journalists who are reporting the situation in Ukraine impartially and objectively”. He also called for their names to be removed from the decree.

Also targeted were Spanish journalists Antonio Pampliega and Ángel Sastre, who disappeared in Syria in July and are believed to have been kidnapped. Russian officials listed include Sergey Shoygu, Russia’s Minister of Defence, and Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov.

Source: The Guardian