Editor in arson attack calls on MIA and Prosecutor General to take the case under their control

Had Oleksy Matsuka been home on 31 July, he could have died in the arson attack on his flat yet the investigators have classified the crime as “hooliganism”. 


As reported, on 31 July an arson attack was carried out on the flat of the Chief Editor of the Internet newspaper Novosti Donbasu [Donbas News] and Head of the civic organization Donetsk Institute of Information.  The criminals left bags with cement wedged against the door and then set the door alight. They also left a funeral wreath with a message reading: “To Oleksy Vitaliyovych from grieving friends”.


Oleksy Matsuka has written an open letter to the President, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor General to inform them “of what kind of threats the journalist profession brings with it in today’s Ukraine”.


He explains the circumstances of the arson attack and says that thankfully his neighbours reacted swiftly.  However the fire, if unnoticed, could have killed him, had he been home, and his neighbours since the wooden partitions would have taken no time to be set ablaze.


Mr Matsuka says that the initiating of a criminal investigation under the article of the Criminal Code “hooliganism” “in its undisguised sarcasm and inadequacy” reminds him of the wreath placed by his door.


He believes that the attack was a deliberate attempt to destroy him and his flat, with the evidence for this seen in the wreath and the sacks of cement barring exit. He is convinced that it can be classified as nothing less than a murder attempt, and is convinced that the attack was connected with his journalist activities, this falling under Article 171 of the Criminal Code.  Yet the investigators are paying no heed to any of this.


He is therefore writing the letter to ask for their assistance in getting the criminal investigation re-classified to attempted murder in connection with his journalist activities.


The incident has, he says, aroused a strong reaction from his journalist colleagues who understand that something similar could happen to any of them. “It is therefore necessary to ensure as swift and transparent an investigation into this event as possible. To this end the investigation should be taken under your personal control. Otherwise, if the police do not find the culprits, and the threats are repeated I I will be forced to leave the Donetsk region. If anything happens to me, the responsibility will lie fully on you.”


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