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14 Cases of Obstruction to Journalists' Activities are Recorded Two Weeks Before Elections

26.10.2012, 03:13

Two weeks before the elections the number of cases of obstruction to journalists' activities has During the period from October, 15, till October, 25 the IMI experts recorded 14 cases.  In the first half of October only 3 such cases were recorded.

During this period there were 5 cases of attacks and 2 cases of claims against Media. In total, there were 21 case of violation of journalists' rights, taking into account only those cases that directly associated with the election campaign and/or done by the parliamentary candidates.



Here are the examples of violations during the mentioned above period.

On October, 15, 2012, in Berdychiv, Zhytomyr strangers attacked and assaulted Kostiantyn Kovalenko, a journalist of the Internet publication HolosUA, who was investigating the case of bribing voters by Mykola Petrenko, a perliamentary candidate, at the constituency. On October, 15, around 9.30 p.m. the strangers with rugged bodybuild wrung my hands and pushed into SUV and beat me, tortured and intimidated me not to publish the information,  - said a journalist.

On October, 17, 2012, the crew of the Channel 5 wasn't allowed to enter the concert organized by Vitalii Zhuravskii, a deputy and a parliamentary candidate from the Party of Regions, in Korostyshiv, Zhytomyr region. Oksana Trokoz, a journalist, informed that four people headed by  a Chair of local Department of Culture closed the door and pulled an operator away.

On October, 18, 2012, in Lutsk strangers took away 800 copies of the weekly newspaper Lubart Chronicles from the volunteers, that contained critical articles about Ihor Palytsia, a parliamentary candidate. Andriy Luchyk, an Editor-in-Chief, assumes that the incident is related to the publications in the newspaper. In September, State Tax Inspection threatened to this newspaper with the not planned audit, in spite of the moratorium to audit Media during the election campaign.

On October, 20, 2012 in Brovary, Kyiv region, on the eve of the Prime Minister Azarov's visit strangers attacked the journalists and activists that tried to get into the constituency office. Thus, an unknown man damaged the phones of Alla Diachenko, a journalist of the Internet publication Maesh Pravo Znaty, and Andriy Kachor, a journalist of the newspaper Hromadskii Zahyst Kyivshchyny, who were recording the events.  

In two days after the events in Brovary, Roman Bochkala, a journalist of the Channel Inter, came to the place and in the building of Brovary District Administration he was pushed from the stairs by Mykola Myronets, a Deputy Head of the Administration. A journalist tried to record the comments from the people, who were in the video, made by the local journalists on the phones on October, 20, 2012. Myronets was also in  this video.

On October, 22, 2012, a crew of the program Pohliad of Kirovohrad State TV and Radio company consisting of Kyrylo Yushchynenko, a journalist, and Ivan Fomichenko, an operator, were forced to stay in the headquarters of Oleksandr Tabalov, a parliamentary candidate from the Party Batkivshchyna, and the guard tried by force to take away their camera and cassettes. Beforehand, the journalists recorded Tabalov's actions directed at bribing the voters, falsification of the election documents and other violations.  

On October, 22, 2012, strangers broke the car of Oleh Pedebriy, a journalist of Zakarpattia regional newspaper RIO. A journalist investigated the case of bribing voters by Vasyl Kovach, a parliamentary deputy from the Party of Regions, in the village Serednie, Uzhgorod region in Zakarpattia. The incident happened in the evening on the same day, when the journalist communicated with the peasants.  

On October, 25, 2012, in Kyiv the guards of Ihor Lysov, a parliamentary candidates from the Party of Regions, tried to take away a camera from a journalist of Skrypin Production, who was recording opening of the metro station Ipodrom. During the opening there was an incident between the activists of Democratic Alliance and the guards of the candidate. They wrung the hands of a journalist, who was recording the incident, pushing him and prevented from recording.

During three months of the pre election campaign, excluding October, 28, 2012, the Day of elections, IMI experts have recorded 140 cases of violations of journalists' rights, and 83 of them directly associated with the elections. The most violations occurred in September.



In general, in 2012 the most cases of violations of journalists' rights in Ukraine were recorded for the last 10 years. Even in 2004, there were 190 cases, in 2011 there were 102 cases, and for the last 10 months of 2012  there are already 254 cases.



Oksana Nesterenko, a lawyer of Kharkiv Human Rights Group, assumes that these data say about serious regress in the field of protecting journalists' rights in Ukraine and demonstrate dangerous tendencies toward collapsing the democracy. It means that in the country real legislative reforms directed at strengthening the guarantees of freedom of speech and journalists' rights have failed, and there is lack of independent judicial power as a guarantee of freedom of speech and protection of journalists' rights, said Nesterenko. 

As she said, decrease of violations of journalists' rights in Ukraine is directly proportional to the level of respect to Media freedom by governing political power. These results show that Ukrainian journalists continue to play an important role in the social life, unveil corruptive actions of and power violations, highlight “not convenient” for the government issues. Moreover, the audience listens to their thoughts because only a strong opponent can be asked to “shut the mouth”. The proof of this is the fact that most violations of journalists' rights happens just during the election campaign, — says a lawyer.

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