Photo credits:The Statesman
In general, legitimate professional rights of journalists have been respected at the first round of the presidential election of March 31st, 2019. The incidents when the rights of journalists were broken have been identified by experts, but they were single. Such are the results of monitoring held by the Institute of Mass Information following the outcome of the vote.
Three incidents occurred in the Dnipropetrosvk region and one incident identified in each of following places: Kyiv, Kropivsnytsky and in the region of Ivano-Frankivsk. In all these cases were related to denial to give an access to the election committees to the journalists. The members of election committees required an accreditation to cover the election.
In Kyiv some unknown persons prevented journalist from Russia to film a report before the Central election commission. In Kryvyy Rih the employees of “Pershyy municipal” TV channel were evacuated from the premises of the editorial board due to report on mining of the location.
As Oksana Romanyuk, executive director of the Institute of Mass Information, told, such insignificant number of violations of the freedom of speech at election day could testify there is no serious intentions to rig the election or to conceal some information from society. “At the same time, the journalists were more informed of their own rights and appealed to the police or to the district election committees in case of violations”, she said.
The lawyers of IMI received 8 calls on the emergency phone hotline which was functioning 24 hours yesterday. Four among them dealt with specificities of photo and video recording at the election committees and four calls concerned access for the journalists to the precinct election committees and to apartment of a voter unable to walk.
List of identified violations :
-In Kropivnytsky, at the election committee #350915 in the building of college, the head of the election committee tried not to let in the journalist and several observers to preliminary sitting at 6.45 a.m.;
-In Dnipro, at one of the election committees a member of the committee required from the TV crew for the 34th TV channel to present the accreditation to cover election. The controversy could be settled only after the head of the election committee interfered;
-In Kalush of Ivano-Frankivsk region the police got a complaint from the journalist who could not get in to the election committee to fulfil his professional activity. The journalist got in aonly after the police came to the place;
-In Kryvy Rih (Dnipropetrovska region) the employees of the “Pershyy municipal” TV channel were evacuated due report saying the premises were mined.The editorial board had received to its electronic address a respective message.
-In Kyiv close to the premisesof the Central election commission some unknown youngpersons prevented the journalist for Russian TV channel “Dozhd” ,Vladimir Romensky, to film a story, blaming him with distortionof facts;
-In Dnipro web-based edition “Open” (opentv.media) informed of being targeted with a strong DDoS-attack.