Rights groups condemn 'harassment and intimidation' of Ukraine journalists

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Journalists covering the political unrest in Ukraine are "facing increasing harassment and intimidation", two journalists' protection groups warned today.
 
The International Federation of Journalists and the European Federation of Journalists have appealed for all sides in the conflict to "respect the rights and freedom of journalists".
 
It comes amid several reports of reporters being attacked by unidentified men brandishing guns and snatching cameras.
 
Last week, a local Crimean TV journalist was reportedly attacked while filming a peaceful protest by a group of women.
 
A Bulgarian freelance and his assistant also had a gun held to their heads and their equipment stolen by a group of masked men.
 
And on Friday, armed gunmen are reported to have attacked journalists outside a military facility. One Greek journalist suffered bad bruising and a fractured nose.
 
The two journalists' federations are holding a meeting in Brussels next week to discuss "further measures to support journalists to uphold professional ethical standards and safety", they said in a joint statement.  
 
IFJ president Jim Boumelha said: "We call on all factions involved in the ongoing unrest in the Crimea region to ensure that media freedom is upheld and journalists are allowed to report the truth without fear of intimidation or violence. 
 
EFJ president Mogens Blicher Bjerregård added: "We urge journalists covering events to remain mindful of their safety at all times and to ensure they take every step necessary to protect themselves during this very troubling period."

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