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$10,000 a head: Radicals put a bounty on UK journalist in Ukraine

Published time: May 05, 2014 15:36

Ukrainian troops guard a checkpoint near the town of Slavyansk in eastern Ukraine May 2, 2014 (Reuters / Baz Ratner)

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Ukrainian radicals have put a bounty out on RT stringer Graham Phillips, who is currently working in the east of the country. Also a camera-man working for RT in Odessa has been informed about being on the radicals' radar.

“Myself I have received threats putting a bounty on my head to be kidnapped and that has been offered from [the city of] Dnepropetrovsk, as I understand, connected to the Right Sector,” Graham Phillips confirmed while reporting live from the city of Slavyansk.

The Right Sector reportedly offered $10,000 for the capture of “a Russian spy.”

The ultra-nationalists also have a cameraman working for RT in the violence-gripped city of Odessa on their radar, RT's Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan confirmed in a statement.

“Our camera-man-stringer in Odessa received a call from the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU). [They] said that he is now on the radar of the Right Sector. [His] former colleagues gave him up. SBU said that the Right Sector now has all his phone numbers and addresses. They gave him up for his anti-Maidan views which he never kept secret,” Simonyan posted on her Twitter.

RT's Editor-in-Chief’s statement comes after the channel’s correspondent Irina Galushko said on her Twitter that the camera-man she is working with had received threats.

On May, 4, RT’s correspondent posted:

Foreign journalists working in Ukraine have been subject to an unfolding witch-hunt in Ukraine with assaults and intimidation of reporters intensifying recently.

In one of the latest incidents Lifenews journalists Julia Shustraya and Mikhail Pudovkin, were abducted by armed Ukrainian Security Service members, after they filmed an interview with one of the leaders of the pro-federalization movement in Ukraine. They were detained and later deported to Russia.

On April 21, Simon Ostrovsky, a journalist for the New York-based Vice News, was also detained by self-defense forces in Slavyansk. He was held captive for three days and questioned. He was then released.

Several days after, on April, 24, the SBU said a Russian and a Belorussian national, both employees of the Russian NTV channel have been detained in the city of Pershotravensk in the Dnipropetrovsk region.

On April, 26, the heads of Russia's major TV corporations, including RT, called on human rights organizations to “defend the professional rights of journalists working in Ukraine.”

“Ukraine’s Donetsk, Lugansk, Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk and other regions are witnessing the ruthless suppression of civil liberties on a daily basis. Journalists are being threatened with their lives if they continue to report from Ukraine,” the letter reads, signed by the heads of All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK), NTV, REN TV, Channel 5, RT and News Media.

“The new Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly taken illegal actions barring our staff journalists covering the Ukraine crisis from performing their professional duties and violating their human dignity,” the letter said.

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