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Ukrainians Mark Journalists' Deaths As Cases Go Unsolved

Ukraine -- Placard from the exhibition, "Stop Censorship," Kyiv, June 15, 2011
Ukraine -- Placard from the exhibition, "Stop Censorship," Kyiv, June 15, 2011
Ukrainian journalists who died while
carrying out their duties will be commemorated in a special ceremony at the
Volodymyr Cathedral Church in Kyiv on Friday (September 16), RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

The Independent Media Labor Union in Kyiv (KNMP) said today that September 16 was chosen because it was on that date 11 years ago that Ukraine's most
prominent investigative journalist, Heorhiy Gongadze, was kidnapped. His
headless body was found two months later.

Oleksiy Pukach, the former head of the Criminal Investigation Department at the
Interior Ministry's foreign surveillance unit, is currently on trial for
Gongadze's murder.

Other churches in Kyiv will also hold services to commemorate journalists, KNMP
representatives said today.

An "Evening in memory of Heorhiy Gongadze" will be held the same day on Kyiv's
Independence Square. Activists then will march to the building housing the
Ukrainian president's office, where the names of all journalists who were
either killed or whose deaths raise doubts and questions will be read aloud,
followed by one minute of silence.

The KNMP says 63 journalists have been murdered or died in suspicious
circumstances since Ukraine gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
The overwhelming majority of the cases have not been solved.