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German Journalists Association Slams Kiev Over Blacklisting Correspondents

© Sputnik / Alexei FurmanView of the Independence square in Kiev
View of the Independence square in Kiev - Sputnik International
Blacklisting journalists is an attack on freedom of the press, a German Journalists Association spokesman said Thursday, a day after Kiev announced dozens of journalists had been added to a blacklist.

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko addresses to the nation in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, Aug. 31, 2015 - Sputnik International
Kremlin Slams Kiev for Including Journalists in Sanction List
BERLIN (Sputnik) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko extended sanctions on over 400 individuals and 90 entities late Wednesday, saying the move would contribute to his country’s defense amid a military conflict in the southeast of the country.

The expanded blacklist includes journalists and political figures from Russia, Britain, Spain, Israel and other countries.

"If the Ukrainian government’s actions are true, then they are an attack on media freedom [and] the freedom of journalists, which is not the norm," Hendrik Zoerner told RIA Novosti.

"Sanctions cannot be applied to journalists. Journalists have the right to work freely, independently and critically both in Ukraine and Russia. They should not be limited in this respect, no matter from which side," Zoerner stated.

Pedestrians walks past the doors of the BBC's Bush House in London. File photo - Sputnik International
BBC Calls on Ukraine to Remove Journalists From Sanctions List
The updated blacklist includes German journalist, author, documentarian and former chief editor of the Rheinischer Merkur weekly, Michael Rutz, as well as correspondent Steve Rosenberg and producer Emma Wells, both affiliated with the BBC.

Both BBC and the Committee to Protect Journalists called on Poroshenko to remove "personal, special, economic" and other restrictive measures on the press.

The restrictions come amid an ongoing conflict in Ukraine’s southeast, where the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk (DPR and LPR) have been striving for autonomy from Kiev.

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