In January in Ukraine, the main violations of journalists’ rights were five cases of obstruction of access to public information and three cases of denying access to public information.
This is the data of the monthly monitoring of the Institute of Mass Information “Freedom of Press Barometer”.
In total, in January IMI regisered 13 cases of freedom of press violations. These violations took place in six regions of the country.In particular, the region with most violations in this month was Kyiv (7 cases).
The right of journalists for their profession was being violated by private individuals, MPs, officials, police, and governmental agencies.
In addition, in January, IMI registered one case in each of the categories: threats, cyber attacks, and economic pressure. These cases are registered in Kyiv and in Khmelnytskyi region.
Journalists were obstructed in Kyiv, in Lviv, in Vynnytsia, Zaporizhzhia, and in Khmelnytskyi. In particular, on January in Kyiv, near Kyevo-Pecherska Lavra, photojournalist of Radio Svoboda Serhiy Nuzhenko was obstructed when he tried to film the action #bringthedoll. The man who accompanied the priest from Lavra was obstructing the work of the photojournalist and demanded to put the camera away.
In Vinnytsia on January 28, the meeting participants were impeding the chief editor of the local online media outlet “Vezha” Andriy Kachor to conduct video recording of the protest action. In particular, he several times tried to stop the recording by attempting to knock the camera off the journalist’s hands.
The political pressure was related, in particular, journalists of Mykolaiv, who complained about the pressure of the head of Mykolaiv Oblast State Administration Oleksiy Savchenko on the local media and journalists who write critical materials about him. The latest case like this was with Andriy Lokhmatov, whose program issue ordered by “NikVesti” was not published on the media outlet’s website. The censored out story was about illegal manner of Mykolaiv Oblast State Administration to perform repairs and renovations in Mykolaiv City Airport. After Lokhmatov published his story on his own webpage, Lokhmatov was invited by the head of Oblast State Administration to his office.
Journalists of the program “Skhemy” had to endure a powerful cyber-attack, in particular, there were numerous attempts to hack their e-mails and accounts in social networks and messengers. The journalists of “Skhemy” complained about this pressure after they published their investigation “Mr. Petro Incognito. The President’s Secret Vacation”, where they investigated the secret visit of Petro Poroshenko to the Maldives for a vacation.
In total, since the beginning of the year, IMI registered 5 cases of obstruction, 3 cases of denial of access to information, and 1 case of threats.