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IMI: «In Chernihiv, an attempt was made on journalist’s life»

04.02.2015, 11:27

In the period of January 24-30, 2015, IMI registered six cases of physical aggression against journalists and one case each of indirect pressure and pressure on an online media outlet, as well as two cases in regard of protection of freedom of press. 

Despite the declared intentions «to live following the new path» and to ‘steer the country in the clear’, the local authorities still try to keep journalists in the dark about their decisions and would not let them be present at discussion of high-profile cases (Lutsk, Ivano-Frankivsk). Also, there was an increase in the number of threats and attempts of intimidation to journalists (Izmayil, Chernihiv, Chernivtsi, and Kharkiv). When the TV channel 1+1 aired a news story criticizing the mayor of Druzhkivka, Donetska oblast, the mayor had the TV channel cut off in the town for the time of the news program. This proves that the mayor has solid influence over the local cable TV providers. Russia keeps pressure over the last independent TV channel in the occupied Crimea – the ATR TV channel.

Good news is that the protocol was submitted on a misconduct committed by the prosecutor on issues of access to public information of the prosecutor’s office in Mykolaivska oblast Olha Levytska.  

Physical pressure

  1. At the meeting with volunteers the head of Volynska state administration Volodymyr Hunchyk asked the journalists who were present to leave.
  2. In Izmayil, Odeska oblast, a car, Daewoo Matiz, owned by a journalist of the website «Іnforechie» Stanislav Tuhay, was torched.
  3. Kharkiv civil activist and founder of the website “Hrani Chasu” Zhanna Tytarenko lately found her apartment door cut. The woman thinks that this case is related to publication of materials regarding the round table organized by NGO of ex-SSU and ex police officers «Syla i Chest'» ("Power and Honor").
  4. The journalist of Chernivtsi TV channel TVA Vadym Pelekh received threats to kill him and his family in the comments to his article about his latest TV material. Threatening comments were left under his critical article at the website of «Chernivtsi Times» after Pelekh's story related to propaganda materials by Chernivtsi resident Vadym Banit for Russian media outlet «Vzgliad» was aired on the TVA channel.
  5. In Chernihiv, there was an assassination attempt against the "Road control" journalist Volodymyr Maralov. In his car, a booby trap exploded when he opened the door of his car, yet he managed to jump away and fall down, and this saved his life.
  6. The meeting the governor Oleh Honcharuk held with Ivano-Frankivska oblast administration’s top officials and civil activists regarding draft for military service was closed for journalists.

 Censorship. Access to public information 

The TV channel “1+1” disappeared from the local cable network in the town of Druzhkivka, Donetska oblast, before airing of the evening news where the story about the city mayor Valeriy Hnatenko was to be broadcast. A TSN story about him covered how he participated in pro-Russian meetings and voted for raising the Russian flag over the governmental building as well as  engaged in pro-Russian propaganda.

Indirect pressure 

In Simferopol, the occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea, armed men surrounded the building of Crimean Tartar channel ATR. They confiscated the channel’s server with video archives. At the moment, the channel has no analogue broadcasting.

Internet pressure

On January 29, Izmayil website «Іnforechie» (Odeska oblast) underwent a DDoS attack. Its operation was restored only on the next day.

Protection of freedom of press 

  1. Kharkiv  police are investigating an attempt to knock down with their car the editor-in-chief and journalist of the media outlet “Zoria” Vasyl Miroshnyk.
  2.  Iryna Kushnir, the representative of the High Commissioner on Human Rights of the Verkhovna Rada          of Ukraine and head of the department of issues of observance of the right for access to public information, filed a protocol on misconduct under article 212-3 of the Code of Ukraine on Misconduct («Violation of right for information») committed by the senior prosecutor on issues of access to public information of the prosecutor’s office in Mykolaivska oblast Olha Levytska. The protocol was filed based on the complaint by the editor of the online media outlet «NikVesti» Oleh Dereniuha.

For additional information visit www.imi.org.ua and www.freedomhouse.org/ukraine-media-watch.

This report was prepared within the framework of the project «Network of media observers», implemented by ІМІ with support from Freedom House and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway.

 

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