Ukrainian president bans dozens of journalists, incl from BBC, El Pais, RT's Ruptly

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko © Mykola Lazarenko
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree on Wednesday, introducing sanctions against hundreds of individuals and legal entities. The list includes dozens of journalists, among them employees of the BBC, El Pais, Die Zeit and RT's Ruptly.

Nearly 400 individuals from France, Greece, Israel, Spain, Italy, USA, Russia, Poland, Switzerland, Germany, the UK and several other countries have found themselves under sanctions introduced by the Ukrainian leader, a decree published  on the Ukrainian presidential website stated.

Over one hundred legal entities are also on the new sanctions list, which introduces travel and financial restrictions, among others, starting from Wednesday for the period of one year.

Surprisingly, the sanctions apply to a several journalists working for Western media as well as Russian. At least three BBC employees can be found on the list, along with journalists from Spain’s El Pais, Germany’s Die Zeit and RT's Ruptly video agency.

The list also includes civil servants, company heads and politicians, who, according to Ukrainian authorities, are connected to activities in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, as well as in Crimea. Personal restrictive measures for these people include the cancellation of existing Ukrainian visas and denials during the issuing of new ones, a ban on the establishment of business connections in the country, the deprival of awards, as well as the blocking of funds.

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Including journalists on such sanctions lists is against international treaties, chairman of Russia’s Presidential Council for Human Rights, Mikhail Fedotov said, citing the Helsinki Accords signed by OSCE members in 1975.

“There were special provisions that referred to unobstructed work of journalists. I hope, that OSCE representative on freedom of the media Dunja Mijatovic will have her word on this sanctions list,” Fedotov told TASS news agency.