Freedom of press Barometer for November 2018
In November the IMI experts recorded 18 cases of violations of press freedom in eight regions of Ukraine. 14 among them are the facts of physical assault against the journalists. This is the data of the monthly monitoring “Press Freedom Barometer” of the Institute of Mass Information (IMI). The most of breaches are identified at the category of “obstruction to lawfull journalistic activities”: 9 incidents (8 cases in October, 5 facts in September, 4 in August). The representatives of the central and local authorities impeded to film, they made attemps to drive the journalists out of the sittings, spilled kefir on, banned the journalists to take pictures, spitted onto the journalist’s face, some unknown persons tried to seize the camera. Then the category of threats to journalists follows in the list of violations: 4 incidents, this number is double if to compare it to October figures, when we revealed 2 of such cases. The most of cases, as usually, have been revealed in Kyiv (8 cases), 2 cases in Dnipropetrovsk region, and Poltava region and one case in each of regions: of Lviv Sumy, Volyn, Kharkiv and Chernivtsi. The right of journalists to practice their profession has been violated by private persons and representatives of local and central authorities. Also, in November two facts of juridical pressure onto the press and bans to access to the information have been revealed and one fact of beating of a journalist. ІМІ draws a particular attention towards the legislative initiative of three MPs from Petro Poroshenko’s Bloc who on 20th of November filed a project of law # 9306 which was going to criminalize defamation. In opinion of the IMI experts, this project of law could be evaluated as an attempt against the press freedom and pressure onto the press. In such a way, the authors of this bill wished to defend themselves from criticism of the mass media, despite the fact there is a civilized way to stand upon one’s rights in a court. Thus, from beginning of this year, IMI has identified 89 facts of obstruction to the lawful activity of journalists, 31 facts of threats, 29 facts of beatings of journalists, 17 facts of restriction of access to information and 14 cyber attacks.
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