IMI: In June, there was a decrease of assaults and attacks on journalists
In June, in Ukraine the main violations of journalists' rights were cases of impeding of jourtalist activities — 7, assaults and attacks - 5. This data are given in monthly monitoring Press Freedom Barometer by the Institute of Mass Information.
This month IMI registered cases of violations of press freedom and journalists' rights in 11 regions. The leader of these violations was Zakarpattia region, where four cases (detention, threats, blockades and restrictions on access to information) were recorded. The next in the list comes Zaporizhia region where three cases (beatings and obstruction) were recorded. The third place was shared by Volyn, Kharkiv, Odesa and Kyiv region, there were two cases recorded. In other regions (Cherkasy, Kherson, Rivne, Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk) only one case was recorded.
This month the most frequently violations of journalists' rights were committed by ordinary citizens (11) and members of regional councils, city councils (2 cases of each). The border guards, MP, media, police and officials (1 case of each) also did it.
In June, there was a decrease of impeding journalist activities. The most cases are registered in Odesa (2 cases), in other regions (Kharkiv, Zaporizhia, Zakarpattia, Ivano-Frankivsk and Kyiv) there was 1 case in each. Civil citizens, strangers, members of District Council, an official, police impede journalist activities. Thus, they prevented from shooting and forbade it, obscened, put stickers on journalists cars, tried to take off the equuipment, overshadow the camera, blocked the entrance to the courtroom and voted for non-admission of journalists to the session hall.
Thus, in Odesa police blocked the entrance to the meeting room and journalists could not get into Malinovsky District Court, where there was a hearing as to a preventive measure to Evgenii Mefiodov, Russian, a defendant of the May, 2 case. Another case in Odesa in the evening on June 28, armed man in camouflage tried to take away camera from Valerii Puzyk, a journalist of online edition of Yuzhny Curier. It happened when a journalist was filming folk festival, which took place on stage near Duke, and civilian action of Azov corps regiment.
In Ivano-Frankivsk regional council Vasyl Skrypnychuk, an Executive Administrator of the Ivano-Frankivsk regional council, a deputy from the "Freedom", with the obsene words attacked Edward Skrypnyk, a journalist TRC Karpaty, thus obscuring the camera. The official did not like the installation that was exhibited in the lobby of the regional council within Porto Franko Gogol Fest.
IMI also registered in June reducing the number of assaults and attacks on journalists (5 cases). Two of them occurred in Zaporozhia region, and one in Volyn and Cherkasy region and Kharkiv. Journalists were attacked and beat mostly by civilians and strangerts.
This month journalists from Berdiansk and Melitopol of Zaporozhia region suffered due to their professional activities. On June 10, in Berdyansk strangers assaulted a crew of TRC Yug and took away a flash card from a camcorder. The incident occurred near the hotel Slovyanska, where journalists were shooting a conflict related to the hotel.
In Melitopol, Zaporizhia region on June 29, a journalist of a local publications was attacked by a worker of JSC Melitopol heating system, who impede reporting and photographing, and tried to take away the camera. The actions of latter caused journalist injuries that resulted in bruises and scratches on her hands.
A number of threats and intimidation in June also fell. There were 2 cases (in May — 5, in April — 5, in March — 3, in February — 5, in January — 3). IMI experts registered threats in Zakarpattya and Kherson regions. Journalists were threatened with physical contact.
In particular, there was a resonance case of threats from Viktor Baloga, a deputy, who on June 23, in Mukachevo came to the channel M-Studio and threatened with physical harm to employees of TV Channel. Journalists complained to the police. When policecame, they found out that the MP was not satisfied with the information, transmitted by this channel.
In addition, IMI registered 2 cases of restriction of access to information and 1 case of detention, attacks on media offices, journalists property damage, censorship and cyber-attacks.
Thus, from the beginning of the year, IMI registered 45 cases of impeding journalist activities, 23 cases of assaults and attacks on journalists and 5 cases of censorship.
"Freedom of Speech Barometer" is an analytical product of monthly monitoring of freedom of speech in Ukraine, conducted by NGO "Institute of Mass Information" in support of "U-Media" project, implemented by "Internews Network" supported by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and by support Non-Profit Organization "National Endowment for Democracy» (NED). The "Network of media observers", working within the "Freedom of Speech Barometer" project, funded with support from Freedom House, the international human rights organization, and the Foreign Ministry of Norway.