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Freedom of Press Barometer

Data from the beginning of 2018

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In Donetsk region, head of rayon state administration threatened journalist using swear words

In Oleksandrivka (Donetska oblast), head of Oleksandrivka rayon state administration, Mykola Machulskyi, threatened the coordinator of the movement  “Sylni Hromady” (“Strong Communities”) and freelance correspondent working for local newspaper “Visti Oleksandrivshchyny”, Serhiy Kaidash. This was reported in Facebook entry of the movement.

The incident took place during the celebration of the newspaper’s anniversary. According to Kaidash, in the corridor of the school of arts where the celebration was held, he was approached by head of rayon state administration Mykola Machulskyi, and also head of the Department of information and internal policies  of Donetsk Oblast Administration, Liudmyla Bychenko, and journalists from Kramatorsk. Machulskyi, in presence of those witnesses, cursed and threatened Serhiy Kaidash, grabbing the journalist’s chin with his fingers. He threatened to do away with the journalist if he continues to cover Machulskyi and his work.

In his comment for IMI, Serhiy Kaidash said that the incident took place on March 30. He added that he published the critical materials that angered the head of administration so much in his own Facebook entries, not in the newspaper, as when the newspaper was state-owned, it refused to published those materials. However, after transit of the newspaper from being state-owned, he planned to cover the work of the administrator in the newspaper, too.

Serhiy Kaidash filed his complaint about the incident to the local prosecutor’s office, as he is sure from his experience that local police will not do anything about such complaints.

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