Ukraine Revokes Freedom of the Press for Americans?
Yesterday an American journalist working for Russian TV (RT) was deported from western Ukraine while covering new protests over Petro Poroshenko’s call to mobilize military there. Shelling civilian populations using US aid is nothing compared to abridging the very core of American ideals… the right to speak freely.
Alina Eprimian, a producer for RT’s Ruptly, she’s been covering an assembly of local activists in the town of Rakoshyno, who are protesting the mobilization of Ukrainians to go and fight the Pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country. A full out offensive by Poroshenko’s government against separatists on the Russia side of the country is demanding more and more from Kiev’s fragile coalition government. But the issue here may very well be one of American values where “freedom of the press” and civil liberties are concerned. Epriman has dual citizenship in the United States and Russia. She’s been in and out of Ukraine using one or the other passport for some time.
Epirimian was interrogated by police, her equipment was taken, here video deleted, and she’s been given until Monday to leave the country. The problem for Kiev in this situation would seem to be due process. Americans have always been touchy about rights of individuals, in particular freedom of speech and a free press. Given Washington’s support of this Kiev regime, the billions pouring into Ukraine from US coffers, and behind the scenes business deals being struck even before the country is whole after dissension, this leaves a lot of room for criticism for Poroshenko. Here’s Epirimian’s tweet of her last capture before being detained.
— alina eprimian (@alina_eprimian) August 1, 2014
Alina Eprimian is not the first RT journalist to thrown out of Ukraine. Last week RT contributor British journalist Graham Phillips was deported from the country and banned from coming back for three years. It’s not secrete that RT and a great many non-western media people consider the so-called western press largely sold out to the NeoCons and the NATO party line. Phillips’ kidnapping at gunpoint, and his matter of fact booting out of Ukraine into Poland, that PR disaster did not even make BBC or Washington Post mention.
The same holds true for this American journalist effectively gagged by Poroshenko’s men. The screenshot above is this morning’s Google News result for Epirimian’s plight. I’ll take exception here and say, if this were a New York Times reporter, all hell would have already broken loose. It’s profoundly clear now, AP and all the other media have and agenda that is NOT news or journalistic fairness. The mountain of unjust killing heaping up on the Obama administration, the Israelis, and all strategic players in between, it’s unfathomable. This all leads to the question; “What news is next?” This cannot be over emphasized. While civil and international freedoms seem to be being revoked in Ukraine, that country’s oligarch president tweets new taxes to help him fund his military. The tweet below from his verified account translates into his people funding his military more.
Підписав закони про зміни до Держбюджету та Податкового кодексу, які дозволять збільшити доходи бюджету і покращити фінансування армії.
— Петро Порошенко (@poroshenko) August 1, 2014
Let me finish here by calling attention to the core principals under which the United States of America was founded. The First Amendment to our Constitution insured that there would be no “abridging the freedom of speech, or infringing on the freedom of the press.” Period. Now, how can an American administration advocate the supression of the dissenting story within a foreign country? How can an American be summarily detained or deported, while reporting for an international news media audience, while billions on billions of US taxpayer dollars are being sent to the same country? Forget the NeoCons, CIA, or Obama himself inciting revolution in Ukraine, stopping the voices of opposition is a far, far more serious crime.
If I have to explain why, call your US History teacher or professor, and ask. This is outrageous!