World Bulletin/News Desk
Journalists at one of Ukraine's few independent TV stations rallied on Saturday, alleging that President Viktor Yanukovich's leadership was trying stealthily to silence independent media ahead of an October parliamentary election.
TVi station, which is known for investigative journalism and which is often critical of the Yanukovich leadership and leading lights around him, was the subject of a raid by tax police last July.
A tax evasion case against TVi's chief executive has since been dropped. But the station says local cable companies have come under pressure to either give it up or move it to more expensive packages, significantly cutting its viewer base.
Critics of the Yanukovich leadership see the moves against TVi as aimed at stifling potentially damaging reporting by the independent media before the Oct. 28 parliamentary election when his Party of the Regions will have to battle to keep its majority.
The government is unpopular because of tax and pension reform which has pushed back the retiring age and Yanukovich's party now faces a united opposition of several parties brought together by the prosecution and jailing of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
These critics say harassment of the independent media is part of a trend towards increased authoritarianism in the country since Yanukovich came to power in Feb. 2010.
"There are only a few TV stations left like TVi which has dared to provide balanced coverage of the situation in Ukraine," Yury Lukanov, head of the independent journalists' union, told Reuters on the fringe of a rally which drew about 1,500 people.
"The authorities don't like this. They prefer simple propaganda channels. That's why they are doing all they can to shut down this channel," he said.
Yanukovich last Monday told a World Newspaper Congress meeting in Kiev the alleged lack of media freedom in his country was due to ignorance and the lack of objective information about the real state of affairs in Ukraine.
His speech to the congress was interrupted by a dozen Ukrainian journalists who stood and held up anti-censorship banners. Security guards tore the banners out of protesters' hands.
"The goal of all honest journalists is to criticise the authorities. Only a journalist who tells you about the authorities' mistakes, their crimes, their wrong-doings - only this person can call himself an honest journalist," TVi editor-in-chief Vitaly Portnikov told the rally.
"When you destroy independent media you are punishing not just the opposition but civil society," he said.
Magamseh decided to return to his family after spending ten days with ISIL
Russian spy, who leaked EU and NATO documents to Russian secret services, was released without completing her prison sentence
Presidential spokesman Alaa Youssefsaid that al-Sisi had met with the members of a fact-finding commission into the events
Kenyan security forces have pursued and killed more than 100 militants and destroyed their camp in Somalia after the ambush of a Nairobi-bound bus that killed 28 people, Deputy President William Ruto said
Of the 26 posts available, the army claimed six, including mines, communications and the interior ministry
The crash, believed to have been caused by a surface-to-air missile fired from pro-Russian rebel territory, killed all 298 passengers and crew
Representing Darfur's opposition in the talks are the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) and the Sudan Revolutionary Front
A number of public buses and private vehicles were swept away by floods in different parts of southwestern Morocco
Tension has run high in East Jerusalem since late last month, when Israel closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for several hours following the injury of an extremist rabbi
Known locally as the "Islamic revolution", the Friday protests are organized by the Salafist Front
A bomber walked into a crowd of spectators at a volleyball match in eastern Afghanistan and detonated his explosives vest, killing at least 45 people, a provincial official said.
Around 27 politicians vied for the top post in Tunisia. A candidate needs to win 50% + 1 of total votes to be declared as the country's new president.
One of the survivors said each migrant paid about $6,500 to human smugglers to escape the war in Syria in the hopes to reach Europe
The man, surnamed Cao and from the eastern city of Qingdao, is awaiting trial, state broadcaster CCTV said
The cabinet meeting witnessed heated discussions over the bill, which was backed by several right-wing lawmakers from the parties of Likud and Yisrael Beituna
A Palestinian man was killed by Israeli gunfire in northern Gaza Strip, another Palestinian man died of injuries he sustained earlier in the day when an unexploded Israeli ordnance went off in the West Bank's Jordan Valley area