Over 25 Ukrainian journalists remain in Russian captivity, Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, the newly appointed head of the Ukrainian parliament's Committee on Freedom of Speech, said in an online event on Jan. 10.
"These are not combatants, these are journalists who were doing their job, and according to the civilized rules of warfare, should not have been captured in principle, but the fact is the fact. We understand how uncivilized Russia has trampled on any human rights," Yurchyshyn said.
According to Yurchyshyn, one of his committee's priorities is the protection of journalists' rights, including facilitating the release of the journalists held in Russian captivity.
For that, he said it is necessary to involve the international community and "to prepare, together with monitoring organizations and journalist associations, a component on responsibility in the International Criminal Court for crimes against freedom of speech and against journalists."
Yurchyshyn added that "unfortunately, it is not only Russia that interferes in the work of journalists."
Ukraine saw a drop in the investigation of crimes against journalists by almost 80% in 2022 compared to the previous year, according to the official.
"One might blame everything on the war, but we, as a country joining the European community, for which the value of freedom of speech is one of the main values, should definitely not allow this."
Yurchyshyn said his committee had discussed the cases of obstructing journalists' work in Ukraine with the Interior Ministry and would have talks with the National Police and the General Prosecutor's Office.
As of Nov. 2 last year, 75 media workers in Ukraine have been killed since the beginning of Russia's war against Ukraine in 2014, according to a study by the Institute of Mass Information.