Pavel Sheremet Unsolved Murder Mystery
Ukrainian journalists urge the authorities to publicly report on the results of the investigation of the resonant case
KIEV – The murder of journalist Pavel Sheremet, whose investigation was publicly described by Ukrainian officials as a “matter of honor,” remains unsolved to this day. This is stated on July 19 in a statement by the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine on the occasion of the second anniversary of the murder of a journalist in the center of Kiev..
“This hurts not only the family and friends of Pavel, his friends and colleagues. The lack of progress in this high-profile case is an alarming signal for the entire journalistic community, for society as a whole: impunity for crimes against media workers gives rise to new crimes, ”the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) said in a statement..
The NSJU notes that the memory of journalists Georgy Gongadze, Igor Aleksandrov, Vyacheslav Eremey, Pavel Sheremet and others, “who died in the performance of their professional duties, encourages us to solidarity – the killers and customers must be punished.”.
“We are confident that the investigation of crimes committed and prevention of new crimes against journalists will be effective if maximum publicity and transparency are opposed to impunity by default,” the NSJU statement said..
Representatives of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine demand from the authorities a public report on the results of the investigation into the case of Pavel Sheremet.
According to the Internet edition “Ukrainskaya Pravda”, on July 20, 2016, Pavel Sheremet was killed in a car explosion on the corner of Ivan Franko and Bohdan Khmelnitsky streets..
The cause of the explosion is a remote explosive device.
The murder of a journalist and statements by the authorities
In 2017, President Petro Poroshenko called on law enforcement agencies to publicly report on the investigation into the murder of journalist Pavel Sheremet. The leader of Ukraine said this during a meeting with representatives of the press on the occasion of their professional holiday, the press service of the President of Ukraine reported on June 6, 2017.
The President noted in 2017 that now the work of journalists is in many ways unprotected. In particular, this is confirmed by the murder of Pavel Sheremet. “It hurts as much as most of you. I also demand with you a public report of law enforcement agencies on the investigation into Pavel’s murder, ”Petro Poroshenko noted..
In a letter to Amnesty International on 19 May 2017, the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs reported that the pre-trial investigation into the murder of Pavel Sheremet “is under the control of the leadership of the National Police of Ukraine.”.
Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty tweeted in 2017 that “a year has passed since Pavel Sheremet was killed by explosives planted in his car, but there is still no justice. It is necessary to investigate who killed Pavel Sheremet “.
Recall that on July 12, 2017, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), in its report on the investigation of the murder of Pavel Sheremet, called on the Ukrainian authorities and personally President Petro Poroshenko to use all resources to prosecute the perpetrators of the murder, and the European Union to issue a statement.
“A year after the death of the famous journalist Pavel Sheremet in Kiev from an explosive device planted in a car, no one was arrested or brought to trial, although President Petro Poroshenko promised that the investigation would be prompt. According to the authorities, Russia is the main suspect, but the lack of progress in the investigation of the case, as well as evidence pointing to the possible involvement of Ukraine, weaken confidence in Kiev and underline the need for an independent investigation, ”says the investigation materials, which are titled“ Justice Denied : Ukraine has not advanced in the investigation of the murder of Pavel Sheremet “.
Confidence in the press – keep or lose
President of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine Sergey Tomilenko believes that the lack of official results of the investigation in the case of the murder of Pavel Sheremet, in fact, leads to a decrease in public confidence in the actions of the authorities.
Unfortunately, I have to admit that the official investigation has lost the confidence of the journalists. We do not see the desire of the country’s leadership to investigate this murder, “says Sergei Tomilenko to the correspondent of the Russian service of the Voice of America..
“We set absolutely pragmatic conditions – to solve the case of the murder of a journalist, although we understand that it is very difficult to complete such a case, find the criminals. But we say that in two years the investigation of this case could have won the trust of society, the press, citizens, or lost it. Unfortunately, I have to admit that the official investigation has lost the confidence of the journalists. We do not see the desire of the country’s leadership to investigate this murder, “says Sergei Tomilenko to the correspondent of the Russian service of the Voice of America..
The murder of Pavel Sheremet, Sergei Tomilenko calls “landmark”, since it reflects the general picture of impunity and insecurity of the press.
“Since Euromaidan, we have not seen significant punishments for those who attack the press, thereby fostering a culture of impunity. When we talk about the general state of freedom of speech, that is, the feeling of anxiety – journalists are beaten, they are attacked with fists, while we often record the impunity of such actions, ”emphasizes Sergei Tomilenko.
He believes that it is necessary to hold parliamentary hearings in the Verkhovna Rada to protect freedom of speech and ensure the safety of journalists; Ukrainian politicians could report on the situation with the development of freedom of speech in the country.
Upcoming elections and the safety of journalists
Political scientist and analyst of the International Information and Analytical Center “Development of Ukraine” Alexandra Reshmedilova reminds that the representatives of the Ukrainian authorities promised to take the Pavel Sheremet case under personal control.
“And the worst thing is that this case did not become something negatively unique for the Ukrainian authorities..
“And the worst thing is that this case did not become something negatively unique for the Ukrainian authorities. The point in the investigation into the murder of Sheremet has not been set, as in other high-profile cases, ”notes Alexandra Reshmedilova.
She says that cases of blocking of TV channels, arson of newspaper editorial offices are recorded in the country, and the situation with freedom of speech is in the focus of attention of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of Expression Harlem Desir.
“We are entering the election campaign, there will be more pressure from the authorities on the press, and journalists, TV channel owners, and even experts in the studios will come under even more pressure. All this is there and has not disappeared anywhere from the Ukrainian reality, “says Oleksandra Reshmedilova..
The initiative of a number of Ukrainian deputies to support the law on blocking Internet resources, the existing restrictions on the use of some social networks and information sites, according to Alexandra Reshmedilova, also do not confirm the development of freedom of speech in the country..
In 2018 – 45 attacks on journalists
Media expert of the public association “Information Security” Tatiana Popova emphasizes that at least 45 illegal actions against Ukrainian journalists were recorded in 2018.
The investigation into the murder of journalist Pavel Sheremet, according to her, revealed several systemic problems in the government..
“The authorities have a problem with identifying the killers and capturing them, respectively. Of course, they do not know how to properly communicate with the press in crisis situations. This year, 45 physical attacks on journalists have been recorded, ranging from simple shocks to beatings. But investigations into them (not all journalists submit, by the way, applications) are not going very well, “Tatyana Popova notes in a commentary to the Russian service of the Voice of America..