Dutch journalist expelled from Ukraine for sharing state secrets: report
Dutch journalist Robert Dulmers was expelled from Ukraine on Sunday. The war correspondent for Nederlands Dagblad posted a photo of a rocket impact on Odesa on Twitter, and Ukraine accused him of revealing state secrets, his newspaper reported.
The 56-year-old journalist worked in Ukraine as a war correspondent with official military permission.
Dulmers told Nederlands Dagblad that he followed the sound of loud bangs in the port city. He took photos and a video of smoke clouds from about 30 meters away. He posted these on Twitter. According to Ukraine, these images revealed state secrets.
Dulmers said that this surprised him. Stricter rules apply to journalists in some areas. In Mykolaiv, for example, journalists had to sign a document stating that they would not take photos of military matters, streets, houses, and air-raid shelters. But nothing like that was announced for Odesa, he said.
On Sunday afternoon, several men took Dulmers to a police station. According to the journalist, they were rough with him. "They grabbed me while I was on the phone with a representative of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Then my phone was ripped out of my hands." The men took his passport, and when he resisted, one of the men pulled a gun on him, Dulmers said. "I was held in a chokehold and had the gun pointed at my head."
At the police station, he was told that he was "persona non grata" and that he had lost his military accreditation. The armed men drove him to the Ukrainian-Moldovan border in his own car. They left him there and returned his papers to him. The documents stated: "Entry denied to Ukraine until 2032, signed 2022," the Nederlands Dagblad reported.
The journalist drove to Romania, where he is considering his next steps. He asked for clarification from the Ukrainian authorities.
According to Nederlands Dagblad chief editor Sjirk Kuijper, "nothing appears to indicate that Dulmers violated the instructions or restrictions imposed by the army." He condemned how Dulmers was expelled from the country, particularly the violence used.