About seven journalists have been killed in Ukraine, while many are targeted and facing unprecedented danger while performing their duty since Russia launched its attack.
Latest UN data indicates that since the Russia invasion on February 14, seven journalists were confirmed killed in Ukraine; the last time so many media professionals were killed in Ukraine was in 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea.
The alert from UN-appointed independent rights experts, including the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, cited “numerous reports” that journalists have been “targeted”.
Reports had it that journalists have been tortured, kidnapped, attacked and killed, or refused safe passage from cities and regions under siege.
The rights experts, in a statement, stated that Russia’s war against Ukraine had been made easier by the “silencing of critical voices over a prolonged period of time’’.
They highlighted the blocking of social media platforms and news websites in Russia, and the disruption of foreign media services.
According to experts, Moscow’s “massive labelling” of independent media as “foreign agents” is a source of concern.
“We deplore the systematic crackdown on political opponents, independent journalists and the media, human rights activists, protesters and many others opposing the Russian government’s actions.
“All these measures amount to the creation of a state monopoly on information in blatant violation of Russia’s international obligations,” they stated.
The rights experts stressed that disinformation is also being spread about Ukraine in Russian State-owned media, NAN reports.