In July, in Ukraine the main violations of journalists' rights were cases of impeding of jourtalist activities - 16 and threats - 6. This data are given in monthly monitoring Press Freedom Barometer by the Institute of Mass Information.
On July 20, for the first time this year IMI recorded the journalist murder case. On July, 20 in the center of Kyiv after the explosion of the car Pavlo Sheremet, a prominent journalist, Belarus dissident, was killed. Murder of Sheremet has caused a wide resonance in the Ukrainian society, because it was realized in a demonstrative way and many experts consider it a terrorist act to intimidate Ukrainians, especially fighters against corruption.
Police classified the event as "an intentional murder committed in a manner dangerous to the lives of many people." Yuriy Lutsenko, Attorney General, named a key version of the murder. It is retaliation for the professional activities of Sheremet. Ukrainian and international journalists and organizations called on law enforcement agencies to ensure rapid and independent investigation into the murder.
This month IMI registered cases of violations of press freedom and journalists' rights in 15 regions of Ukraine. Thus, the leader of these violations was Kyiv, where five cases (murder, impeding and indirect pressure) were recorded. The next in the list come Mykolayiv, Kherson, Poltava and Kharkiv regions - three cases in each were recorded. In other regions one or two cases were recorded.
The most frequently violations journalists' rights this month were made by ordinary citizens — 20 cases, police and members of regional councils, city councils - 5 cases of each. The border guards, deputy and a Head of Election Commetee - 1 case of each – also did it.
In July IMI experts registered increase in a number (two times) of impeding journalist activities. The most cases were registered in Kyiv and Kharkiv - 3 cases in each. Journalists were forbidden to shoot, took away camera and microphone, overshadow cameras, did not allow in the session hall of the Regional Council, prevented to enter the court room for hearings, forbidden to attend meetings of district election commissions and more.
This month IMI also recorded increase in a number of threats to journalists from cases 2 in June to 6 cases in July. Threats were recorded in six regions - Dnipropetrovsk, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Zaporizhia, Sumy and Kherson regions. Journalists were threatened with physical contact, through social networks and phone.
Also there were registered four cases of violation on access to public information by the city and local government and law enforcement officials who ignored the requests of journalists, detained replying to them, or offered to search be themselves.
At the same time IMI registered decrease in a number of assaults and attacks on journalists — 1 case in Khmelnytsk region (in June — 5, in May — 7, in April — 4, in March — 2, in February — 1, in January - 4).
IMI also registered 2 cases of cyber attacks on the sites, 1 case of damage of journalist property and censorship and indirect pressure.
In Russia occupied Crimea IMI recorded 2 cases - on the peninsula they include journalists in so-called lists of “terrorists” and censorship.
Thus, from the beginning of the year, IMI registered 1 case of murder, 61 cases of impeding journalist activities, 24 cases of assaults and attacks on journalists and 6 cases of censorship.
"Freedom of Speech Barometer" is an analytical product of monthly monitoring of freedom of speech in Ukraine, conducted by NGO "Institute of Mass Information" in support of "U-Media" project, implemented by "Internews Network" supported by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and by support Non-Profit Organization "National Endowment for Democracy» (NED). The "Network of media observers", working within the "Freedom of Speech Barometer" project, funded with support from Freedom House, the international human rights organization, and the Foreign Ministry of Norway.