KIEV, December 2 (RIA Novosti) – Dozens of journalists covering protests in Ukraine were injured when police used force to disperse rallies over the weekend, according to a media rights watchdog.
A list compiled by Telekritika listed 43 reporters, photographers and cameramen, saying most of them were hurt during clashes Sunday outside the presidential administration building.
One of those injured was award-winning Ukrainian journalist Denys Danko.
“Every officer running by me hit me with a club. I was hit 30 times altogether. They kicked me in the head, chest, hands,” said Danko, the Kyiv Post, a local English-language paper, reported.
A widely circulated image showed Reuters news agency photographer Gleb Garanich with blood dripping from a head wound. Reuters said in a report that one of its cameramen was “beaten on the arms” and had his camera destroyed.
Hundreds of thousands of people marched through downtown Kiev on Sunday in the largest show of discontent since Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s refusal to sign a series of trade deals with the EU last month caused people to take to the streets to express their opposition.
The protests, which had been largely peaceful, soured Saturday morning when police violently cleared Independence Square.
On Sunday, a group of demonstrators threw stones and used a bulldozer against police lines as they sought to occupy the presidential administration building. Riot police deployed tear gas, stun grenades and baton charges in response.
Kiev officials said Monday that over 300 people were injured and that 162 protesters and police officers were hospitalized Sunday as a result of the violence.