Austrian Radio and TV-correspondent Christian Wehrschütz was sanctioned by Ukrainian authorities with an entry ban on March 7th. The Ukrainian security service SBU explained the decision with an illegal entry of Wehrschütz into the Crimean peninsula as well with „anti-Ukrainian propaganda“. Wehrschütz disputed both claims – he reported about the opening of the new bridge from Russia to the Crimean peninsula but claimed to have stayed on Russian territory.
Before the entry-ban Wehrschütz was already denied accreditation for reporting from the war-zone in Eastern Ukraine.
Austria’s foreign minister Karin Kneissl called the entry-ban „an unacceptable act of censorship“.
Wehrschütz has reported for the public broadcaster ORF from Ukraine and the Balkan region since many years.
AEJ calls on the Ukrainian authorities to overturn the ban on Mr. Wehrschütz. „Ukrainian authorities should refrain from these methods to censor and punish foreign correspondents- especially since the government in Kiev attacked similiar steps by Russian authorities against freedom of media.“