Elections 2012: Parliamentary Candidates Sent 18 Claims against Journalists
Thus, at the end of August the Court stopped publication of Osobystyy Pogliad newspaper up to the end of elections, and in such a way it completely satisfied the appeal of Dmytro Voitseh, a candidate to deputies in single-mandate constituency №95 and a Deputy of Irpin City Council, against the newspaper. The newspaper printed pics of the leaflet against the candidate and expressed thoughts that he himself could have ordered such dirty political technologies.
On September, 14, 2012, Olksiy Leliuk, a Head of the State Agency of Reserves of Ukraine and a parliamentary candidate from the Party of Regions, appealed to Court against Gazety Po-Ukrainsky for the interview with Vitaliy Tokov, a rep of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine, where the latter said that Leliuk gave sweets and flour from the State Reserves of Ukraine to his voters.
On October, 5, 2012, Тaras Batenko, a parliamentary candidate at the constituency 123 in Lviv region appealed to Halytskyy District Couurt in Lviv against the Internet publication Varianty. He demanded to refute the information about his charity for the State expenses, which he considers to be not true, and pay him a compensation of 50,000 hrn for moral damages and expenses for court fee and other costs.
On October, 12, 2012, Оleh Liashko, a Leader of the Radical Party and a parliamentary candidate, appealed to Court against the Internet publication iPress.ua for posting information that, according to Liashko, offended his honour and dignity. Thus, on August, 27, 2012, in the Bloggosphere column they posted the article Polittechnologist: Project “Liashko” is Delicate and Prudent Plan, which is a repost of the thoughts of Serhiy Haiday, a famous political technologist, from his page in the social network Facebook.
ІМІ experts note that for the first two months of the election campaign the number of violations against the journalists and Media has grown up to 60% in comparison with the same period last year. The number of obstructions to journalist activities and censorship has increased. From July, 30 to October, 25, 25 cases were recorded.
On August, 8, 2012, Kateryna Samoilyk (Communist Party) prohibited Tetiana Zhuchenko, a journalist from Kherson, to be present at the meeting with the voters and make photoes and videos in the village Myrne, Kalanchatskyy district, Kherson region. Samoilyk said that she didn't allow to record her as she is a Deputy and there should be special permission. Media lawyers comment that according to the Art. 307 Civil Code of Ukraine, a journalist doesn't need any permission for recording. Agreement of a person for making photos and videos is possible, when video is made in the streets, meetings, conferences and other public events.
While organizing public events such as press conferences, headquarters of political parties set special rules of accreditation and in such a way limit access of journalists to them.
Thus, in Lviv, journalists were asked to show their passports to get to the press conference of Yushchenko and in Lutsk, only necessary journalists were allowed to visit his press conference. A rep of Nasha Ukraina explained: It is a pre election campaign and we ourselves will decide what journalists we want to see or not.
In Simferopol, the crew of the State TV and Radio Company Crimea weren't twice allowed to the briefing of Vitalii Klychko after his meeting with the citizens of Simferopol. They weren't accredited, though the press announcement, sent on September, 14, 2012, by the press service of the organization, said that accreditation to all the events is made on August, 31, 2012 till 6 p.m.
One more alarm of this election campaign is dismissal of journalists.
The main reason is censorship. The journalists can't bare the pressure of Media Management that demands to show the news about the Government and the Party of Regions only in a positive way.
Thus, on the August, 9, 2012, because of censorship and unwillingness to serve to the interests of the Party of Regions Оlha Holovenko and Olha Komarova, the journalists, resigned from MIG channel (town Yuzhne, Odesa region). They explained the reason as reps of the founders (of the channel – edit) recommended to serve to the interests of a certain political force.
Nataliia Sokolenko, a famous journalist, resigned because of censorship from the CTB channel (V.Pinchuk, an oligarch and owner).
On September, 23, 2012, Yuriy Rebryk, a journalist of TV studio PravdaPRO, was beaten by the assistant of Vitalii Barvinenko, a deputy, for recording a deputy. The incident happened in the village Strumok, Tatarbunary district, Odesa region during the concert devoted to the 200th anniversary of the village foundation. The concert was used as a part of the election campaign of Vitalii Barvinenko, a parliamentary candidate from the Party of Regions.
Valerii Moshenskii, a parliamentary candidate at the constituency 108 (Krasny Luchm Perevalsk district, Lugansk region) and a deputy of Kyiv Council, a leader of the Fraction Block Lytvyna, injured Ivan Zheved, a journalist of the Internet publication Molod-news and an activist of the Chesno Movement. Zheved was recording the meeting of Valerii Moshenskii with the electorate.
In Brovary, Kyiv region, Andriy Kachor, a correspondent of the newspaper Hromadskyy Zahyst Kyivshchyny, a coordinator of the campaign Nastup (opposition of falsifications at the elections 2012) received a threat of physical violence. The journalist states that these threats are from the guards of Maksym Sytenkov, a Head of the district election commission №97, whom Kachor was recording during the meeting of the commission.
?In Cherkasy region, a stranger threatened with physical violance to Volodymyr Hamalyka, a journalist of Vechirnia Uman. The journalist has recently published the article Dead Souls Will Organize the Elections?, where he revealed the facts that 28 people became members of the election commissions even not knowing about it.
With the beginning of the election campaign IMI experts also recorded 8 cases of economic, political and indirect pressure.
Thus, on September, 8, 2012, Denys Omelianivych, a deputy and a candidate from the Party of Regions, threatened the Internet publication Novosti Donbasa with technical problems in the work of the site. He didn't like the news under the title Bribing or Help to the Citizens? In Donetsk region he presented a bus to one of the schools.
On August, 28, 2012, there was a search in the office of the Internet publication Glavnoe,едакції інтернет-видання «Главное» that belongs to Arsen Avakov, a deputy of Kharkiv Regional Council, Batkivshchyna Party, and a candidate.
On October, 12, 2012, in Lutsk, the police called for interrogation Natalka Moskovks, an editor-in-chief of TV channel Avers and Andriy Lev, an editor-in- chief of the newspaper Avers-Press. The journalists are the witnesses in the criminal case on hooliganism in the office of Olena Hileva, a parliamentary deputy and a rep of the European Party of Ukraine, though they both state that they weren't there during the incident and they didn't send there any journalists. According to Moskovka, the interrogation was not about the criminal case, but about the police asked about the activities of the company and journalists, what they record and who they give materials to. Natalka Moskovka explains these actions as intrusion in the work of the TV and Radio Company and in the work of the journalists.
The majority of journalists' right violations (52%) in August and September were directly connected to the election campaign and/or done by the political parties and parliamentary candidates.
The violations connected to the pre election campaign are in red.
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