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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Sanef supports calls for protection of journalists covering Ukraine conflict

Sanef has also condemned the bombing of a Ukrainian TV tower in Kyiv that prevents citizens from accessing one of their news sources.

The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) said it has taken note of Reporters without Borders (RSF) urgent call for the protection of journalist reporting on the conflict in the Ukraine.

According to Reporters without Borders, Roskomnadzor, the Russian media regulator, has told the media in that country they must “only use the information and data they receive from official Russian sources”, or else they could be prosecuted for spreading false information.

Sanef said this violates the rights of media workers in this conflict.

“We also note the RSF’s call on belligerents and international organisations to guarantee the safety of the Ukrainian journalists, including more than 1 000 foreign correspondents reporting on the ground in Ukraine, according to figures provided by the Ukrainian military, which issues accreditations.”

Sanef has also expressed concerns surrounding the suppression of news channels reporting on the Ukraine conflict.

On Wednesday, MultiChoice removed state-backed television channel Russia Today (RT) from its DStv bouquet, as the Russian and Ukrainian conflict rages on.

ALSO READ: Russia Today taken off DStv until further notice

The suspension drew widespread criticism from many organisations and even political parties advocating for media freedom.

However, MultiChoice said suspending RT was not the company’s decision.

“Sanctions imposed on Russia by the European Union has led to the global distributor of the channel ceasing to provide the broadcast feed to all suppliers, including MultiChoice.”

Sanef has also condemned the bombing of a Ukrainian TV tower in Kyiv, which prevents citizens from accessing one of their news sources.

Russian airstrikes on Kyiv TV tower brought down the main TV tower in the nation’s capital, killing five people on Tuesday and knocking out some state broadcasting.

“While we support freedom of access to a diversity of views, we do not support disinformation on any channels; and appeal to all to report factually, impartially, and truthfully for the benefit of all their audiences.”

Sanef said both Resolution 2222, adopted in 2015 by the UN Security Council (of which Russia is a permanent member), and international humanitarian law require that journalists are protected during armed conflicts in the same as any civilian, even when accompanying military forces for their reporting purpose.

ALSO READ: SA shoots itself in the foot for abstaining to vote on UN resolution to condemn Russia

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