In Ukraine, journalist hospitalized after brutal assault

New York, July 22, 2013–Two assailants on Sunday severely beat Oleg Bogdanov, a Ukrainian journalist who has been subjected to an escalating series of attacks in recent months that have included threats and an arson attack on his car, according to news reports.

“Ukrainian authorities need to act urgently to protect Oleg Bogdanov, who has been subjected to an escalating series of attacks,” Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said. “To ensure an independent and effective investigation, authorities must assign central law enforcement officers to the case.”

Two unidentified men attacked Bogdanov, reporter for Dorozhny Kontrol (Road Control), at 7 p.m. near the entrance to his apartment building in the eastern city of Donetsk, Bogdanov’s wife told local Channel 5 TV station. She said she and her daughter witnessed the attack from a nearby playground. The journalist has been hospitalized for injuries including a broken jaw and nose, a concussion, and multiple bruises, Dorozhny Kontrol reported.

Bogdanov told Channel 5 from the hospital that he believed the attack was related to his reporting for Dorozhny Kontrol, but did not specify any particular articles that might have provoked the episode. The website reports on abuses committed by Ukrainian traffic police and other local law enforcement and security agencies.

According to news reports, Donetsk police have opened an investigation into the attack.

Dorozhny Kontrol reported in November that unidentified assailants had set fire to Bogdanov’s car and accused traffic police of being behind the attack. Prior to the arson attack, the website said, the journalist had received threats by phone. Authorities opened a criminal investigation into the attack, classified the episode as arson, but did not arrest anyone, Dorozhny Kontrol said.

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