Detained Dutch journalists worked legitimately in Donetsk - The Head of DPR

The Head of Donetsk People's Republic, Alexander Zakharchenko, gave a statement about two Dutch journalists, who were detained by Dutch police after working trip in Donbass. All materials and equipments, including findings and documents from the flight MH17 crash site, were confiscated by Dutch police.

Read also: Dutch journalists detained, material confiscated, after returning from Donbass

Questions to Zakharchenko were made by Vittorio Rangeloni, DONi International News Agency, on 14.1.2017. (see the video). Here is the full translation of the official statement.


"Aleksandr Vladimirivich, on New Year holidays the group of Dutch journalists arrived here and made a video material about the life in the DPR and the crush of the Malaysian Boeing as there were numerous causalities. They were in Grabovo.

The official investigation is over and they took some fragments of the plane that they had found. As they came back to Netherlands they were taken into the custody and accused of violating the law. What can you say about it?

And one more question. The officials not just arrested the journalists but confiscated the equipment, all the materials, cameras. How do you think, why did they do that and what is the reason of taking away the materials which are not connected with the Boeing crush?"

Alexander Zakharchenko (The Head of Donetsk People's Republic):

Well, let’s start with your first question. In fact those journalists were working on our territory legitimately. They got all the permissions needed, accreditation, and they led the independent investigation of the Boeing crush.

"As it has already been mentioned and I’ll repeat it we are interested in objective and operational investigation of the incident that happened on our territory and resulted in Boeing crush and numerous causalities including children.

The things that were discovered by the journalists shocked me deeply. Because despite the events took place several years ago, the fragments of the plane and bodies are still there. The DNA expertise took place and the man who died there was identified.

It shows that official mission that was here investigating the case and had to collect the fragments of the plane, of the human bodies found in the place of the crush. They should have done it at that very moment they came here. But they didn’t.

At that moment they could say that because of the fights the commission could not work properly. But now no fights are going on there. The territory is safe.

The commission was obliged to come and collect all the material and make the truthful conclusion. But we see that the independent investigators came, collected the fragments of the bodies, came back to the Netherlands and were arrested."

They arrested not just the fragments the journalists had collected but the equipment on which the interviews with the local people, testimony about how it happened materials. It proves that Europe is not interested in the publishing of the real results because it is sure and everyone know it, that the plane was downed by the Ukrainian side .

"And that’s why it arrests journalists and takes away their materials equipment and all tha fragments that were found. And the second thing is that Europe is so democratic, and just imagine that in democratic Europe where the freedom of speech is so precious and is a part of the human rights of every European Union member, the independent journalists are arrested.

Well, you know, to tell the truth, it proves that there are double standards in Europe and if it is profitable for Europe it claims that it is a democratic society and supports the freedom of speech.

It concerns the accusations of Russia, accusations towards us, but when it comes to the EU allies, to the Europe itself they can just arrest everyone and took away all the materials, that’s all."

In this case I can say the following: it’s good that they’ve arrested them, it’s good that Europeans are now aware of it, and that the body fragments were found.

"But it’s a crime and a tragedy that independent journalists who were working here legally, coming home and trying to show that the commission did nothing were arrested. It means that apart from the refugees who came to the Europe, the freedom of speech was stolen."

Watch also the interview with english subtitles:

DONi News Agency

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