In December, IMI registered in total 24 cases of freedom of press violation on the territory of Ukraine. The largest share of violations of journalists’ rights in this month was registered by IMI experts in the category “obstruction to lawful journalist activities” – 8 cases. This is the data of the monthly monitoring of the Institute of Mass Information “Freedom of speech barometer”.
This month, the number of obstructions is almost on the same level as in November. This category is sill the one with the most cases of violation of freedom of press.
The top three categories for violations, other than obstructions, also included “access to public information” – 5, and “legal pressure” – 4 cases.
In December, 3 cases of threats and intimidations of journalists were registered. There were 2 cases of beatings this month, and also, 1 case in categories “cyber-attacks” and “Political pressure”.
In total, in December IMI registered violations of freedom of speech and journalists’ rights in 9 oblasts of Ukraine. The leaders of such violations in this month was Kyiv – 12, Kirovohrad region, Ternopil region, and Volyn – two cases in each. In other regions, only one case of violations of freedom of speech was registered.
In December, journalists’ rights for the profession were violated by, mostly, private individuals, local authorities and law enforcement officers.
This month, the obstructions related to blocking of the TV channel NewsOne; in Mykolaiv region, the journalist of online media outlet “Moye mist” (“My city”) was forced out from the public event, meeting with the candidate to the position of Shyrokivska unitied territorial community, Serhiy Peresunko with the residents of the village; in Kyiv, unidentified man took the cell phone from the journalist of TV company “Magnolia-TV” Anastasia Bereziy at the site of traffic accident, threw it on the ground, stomped it, and after that, threw it off the bridge down to the road.
Local and central authorities continue the practice of denying the journalists access to public information. In particular, in Kropyvnytskyi, communal enterprise “Elektrotrans” refused to provide a comment to journalist on-site, referring them to the city council for all answers instead. The Ministry of Social Policy refused to provide data about the salary of the Minister of Social Policy Andriy Reva without explanations about the goal of gathering this information.
Legal pressure related to interrogations by the General Prosecutor’s office of the journalists of “Skhemy”, Natalia Sedletska and “Novoye Vremya” Khrystyna Berdynska about their contacts with NABU, in particular, about their off the record conversations with its officials.
The cases of beatings of journalists took place in Kyiv. In particular, the filming crew of “Priamyi” was attacked by a representative of the developer company, who did not like the questions of the journalists from the project “Spozhyvach” (“Consumer”). Another case was an assault of the fighter of Volunteer Ukrainian Corps. “Right sector” Oleksiy Byk, who hit the journalist of TV channek News One, Ruslan Kotsaba.
Threats were reported by the editorial office of Radio Liberty (militant of “DPR” threatened journalists of Donbas.Realiyi) and journalist from Ivano-Frankivsk, who received in a social network private messages with offences and threats.
Thus, since the beginning of the year, IMI registered 89 cases of impediment, 41 – limitation of access to information, 37 cases of threats, 29 cases of beatings, and 6 cases of censorship.