On the day of the 16th anniversary of the disappearance of Heorhii Gongadze, representatives of Ukrainian media appealed to the president of Ukraine, prime minister, interior minister and prosecutor general with a demand to promptly and effectively investigate acts of aggression against journalists, Censor.NET reports referring to the Institute of Mass Information NGO.
"Recognizing that more than 15 years have passed since the killing of journalist Gongadze, we urge the authorities to finally establish those behind the murder and name the main suspects," the statement notes.
"Ukrainian media organizations do not question the legality of the life sentence against Oleksii Pukach. We believe it to be an important step for Ukraine that a police general has been brought to justice for a crime against a journalist," the activists remark.
The NGO also calls on politicians and officials to stop political speculations around the Gongadze case and other cases involving aggression against journalists, stressing that no words can replace investigations.
"We demand that the government systematically take necessary steps to fully protect the rights of citizens to information and ensure unhindered work of journalists:
"Find killers of journalist Pavel Sheremet. Promptly and transparently investigate crimes against the freedom of speech in Ukraine. Ensure the accountability and transparency of public institutions and officials. Report about its work to the public and comply with the legislation on the access to information.
"Actively promote the establishment of public television and denationalization of printed media," the statement reads.
Traditionally, on Sept. 16, rallies in memory of Heorhii Gongadze and all the deceased Ukrainian journalists are held in Kyiv and other cities across Ukraine. Everyone who supports the idea of freedom of speech and democracy is invited to join in. The meetings are held without any political symbols or slogans. The Kyiv rally will kick off at 6:30 p.m. on Maidan Nezalezhnosti Square.