(QHA) -

Deteriorating media freedom in Russian-occupied Crimea is 'deeply disturbing and worrying', the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media said on Thursday.

Dunja Mijatović claimed that truth had been the first casualty of crisis and urged those responsible to stop media censorship and to ensure journalists' safety. Her comments were made in the regional capital Simferopol, where she met with local journalists and media associations.

The OSCE Representative claimed that dozens of journalists and bloggers had been threatened, physically attacked, interrogated or kidnapped since Crimea’s joining Russia in March 2014.

In late January, Security Service officers raided the office of ATR-- first ever and the only Crimean Tatar channel-- reportedly searching for video footage of pro-Ukrainian rally in Simferopol of Feb 26, 2014.

Roskomnadzor-- Russia's mass media and telecom watchdog-- has denied Crimean News Agency a license to operate in Russia and Crimea.

QHA