European Broadcasting Union condemns assault on Ukrainian television head

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The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has condemned an attack on Oleksandr Panteleymonov, the acting head of Ukraine’s national television company, NTU.

Rallies have taken place in Kyiv to denounce the Svoboda MPs behind the assault during which Panteleymonov was forced to resign.

Mustafa Nayyern, a journalist in the capital compared the attack to recent assaults on protesters in Independence Square.

“Only three weeks ago we were outraged by the fact that people were beaten at Independence Square,” he said. “Why should we stand for them beating someone else now? We have laws and they should act according to them.”

But this opinion is not shared by everybody, as Ihor Miroshnychenko, one of the attackers and Svoboda party MP, explained:
“I agree I might have overreacted. But, under the circumstances, something had to be done to make this person resign immediately. As for my parliamentary immunity, it doesn’t stop the authorities from looking into what I did, so let them investigate my actions and the actions of my colleagues.”

Panteleymonov was reportedly taken to hospital, in a state of shock.

Meanwhile, NTU has elected Yuriy Romanchuk as the interim head of the company.

“Impressions of what has been done are the worst possible,” said Romanchuk. “Especially when you think that it took place at the national television station, in the capital of Ukraine, at a time when Ukraine has declared it will follow the principles of democracy and has chosen the European path.”

Panteleymonov was forced into signing a letter of resignation, but Ukrainian law dictates cabinet ministers have the final word.

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has condemned the attack.

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