UKRAINIAN security said on Tuesday it had barred two Spanish journalists from entering the country over their coverage of a conflict with eastern separatists – a move media groups denounced as an attack on free speech.
The State Security Service (SBU) said the journalists had written articles alleging Ukrainian troops had shelled civilian areas, an account it said was false.
Antonio Pampliega and Angel Sastre wrote on Twitter that they had been barred from entering Ukraine at Kiev’s main airport.
“After 20 hours detained in Kiev a military man arrived and put us on an airplane without explanations,” wrote Sastre. “They have treated us like criminals, the only thing missing is putting us in chains,” said Pampliega.
SBU spokeswoman Olena Gitlyanska told Reuters the journalists had “been forbidden from entering due to activity that is contrary to the interests of Ukraine.”
“Look at what they’ve published,” she said, when asked for details.