12 Apr 2019 Lvl. 2
Alert created on: 08 Mar 2019 n° 26/2019 Ukraine

Ukraine Places Entry Ban on Austrian Correspondent

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Ukraine has placed an entry ban on Austrian correspondent Christian Wehrschütz, who has reported from the country since 2014 for the Austrian national public broadcaster ORF. The Austrian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Ukrainian authorities had confirmed the ban. Ukraine’s SBU security service has accused Wehrschütz of illegal entry into the disputed Crimean peninsula – a charge Wehrschütz has disputed – as well as “anti-Ukrainian propaganda”, according to media reports. Authorities had previously denied Wehrschütz accreditation to report from the eastern part of the country. An expert on eastern and southeastern Europe, Wehrschütz has reported for ORF in the region since 1999, based mainly in Belgrade. Since 2014, he has regularly reported from the front lines in Ukraine. That year, he was named as “Journalist of the Year” by Austria’s trade magazine for journalism for his coverage of the conflict.
12 Apr 2019: On 12 April 2019, taking into consideration the decision of the Ukrainian authorities lifting the entry ban imposed on the journalist, the partner organisations to the Platform declared this case to be ‘resolved’, concluding that it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.
11 Apr 2019
On 11 April 2019, Ukraine’s Security Services (SBU) announced that it had lifted the entry ban earlier imposed on Wehrschütz and notified the journalist that he could travel to Ukraine again.
08 Mar 2019
OSCE Media Freedom Representative calls on Ukrainian authorities to reverse entry ban for Austrian journalist.
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