In April, IMI registered 26 cases of violations of freedom of press and journalists’ rights in Ukraine. This is the highest number of violations registered since the beginning of the year. For the context, in January the total number of registered cases was 15, in February – 21, and in March – 16.
In April, the highest number of violations of journalists’ rights was registered in the category of obstruction – 8 cases. Compared to March (3 cases), this number more than doubled. This data was presented in the monthly monitoring of the Institute of Mass Information “Barometer of Freedom of Press”.
The other two categories in the top three of this month were limitation of access to public information – 4 cases and damage to journalists’ property and lawsuits against journalists (3 cases each). In April, the number of cases in these categories increased compared to March.
At the same time, the number of registered beatings and attacks on journalists stayed the same – 1 case, as in March. The number of threats to journalists that IMI registered – 2 cases (in March – 1).
Overall, in April IMI registered violations of freedom of press and journalists’ rights in 13 oblasts of Ukraine. In particular, this month, the oblasts with the highest number of violations were Kyiv and Kyivska oblast (7 cases), Volynska oblast (4 cases) and Mykolayivska oblast (3 cases).
In April, the journalists’ rights were violated: predominantly by individuals, then by law-enforcement officers (National Police and Security Service of Ukraine), state and private companies (“Naftohaz Ukrainy”, “Ukrhazvydobuvannia”), local authorities (Volynska olbast council and mayor of Oleksandria, Kirovohradska oblast), members of district election commission (village of Zaborol, Volynska oblast), judiciary authorities and others.
Obstruction, as the IMI monitoring shows, usually was about banning journalists from filming of one event or the other. Journalists were also pushed and their equipment was taken away.
In April, cases of limitation of the journalists’ right for access to public information were registered in Kyiv. Access was denied by law enforcement (National Police), executive branch (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and judiciary branch of power, as well as the company “Ukrhazvydobuvannia”.
In April, the three registered cases of damage to journalists’ property were journalists’ cars torched. This month, the journalist and activist, who is fighting against development of Vumivskyi Forest in the village of Petropavlivska Borshchahivka (Kyivska oblast), Valentyna Aksionova lost two cars to arsonists.
On the occupied territories of Crimea and Donbas, IMI registered 2 cases of violation of journalists’ rights (one case in each).
In more detail, you can read about the state of freedom of press on the IMI website in the section “Barometer of freedom of press”.
The Institute of Mass Information conducts a monthly all-Ukrainian monitoring of freedom of press according to the following categories: physical aggression, censorship and access to information, economic and political pressure, legal pressure and cybercrime against media outlets and journalists. The monthly report includes only the cases related to freedom of press and professional journalist activity. The methodology is outlined here.