The Ukrainian authorities have acknowledged that the journalists in the state belong to the category of those who are threatened with lethal danger. This became clear after the information that said that Yury Smirnov, the Ukrainian Internal Affairs Minister, signed an order that allows members of the mass media to have certain kinds of weapons. The order comes into effect on December 7. The order was issued in Ukraine due to the increasing number of crimes committed against journalists, the press-service of the Internal Ministry stated. Pursuant to the order, the law-enforcement bodies are supposed to establish cooperation with the mass media and to guarantee the personal safety of journalists during their duties if necessary.
One of the paragraphs of the order allows journalists to buy, keep, and use weapons with rubber bullets. Before, only law-enforcement officers have had the right to use such weapons.
The order issued by the Ukrainian internal affairs minister, complies with the legislation, and this has already been confirmed by the Ministry for Justice of Ukraine. Members of the mass media are supposed to present certain kinds of medical certificates and other documentation in order to be granted a licence for the guns. In addition, they will have to take a training course to learn how to use them.
Yury Smirnov put forward the idea to arm the Ukrainian journalists in July of the current year, after the death of the supervisor of one of the regional TV companies, Igor Alexandrov. He stated that the journalists who try to investigate scandals risk their lives and that they wage war with those whose crimes they wanted to resolve: “If you are ready for the war, then we will give you the weapon and we will struggle with criminality together,” – said Smirnov.
Alexander Gorobets PRAVDA.Ru Kiev Ukraine
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2001/12/04/34510.html
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov