IMI: «The number of attacks against and threats to journalists is growing»
In the period of January 17-23, 2015, IMI registered six cases of physical aggression against journalists and one case of Internet pressure. Of these, three cases took place in the South of Ukraine, and one was wounds sustained by a war correspondent in the ATO zone.
IMI marks the growing number of intimidation and direct aggression against journalists, what can be connected to the general nervousness in the society caused by the situation of an actual war as well as to impoverishment. Officials and their subordinates express their disdain towards journalists and demonstrate their total lack of understanding that journalists are doing their jobs.
- In Odesa, an unidentified man was obstructing video recording by the filming crew of the TV channel “Krug” near a restaurant where the city mayor Hennadiy Trukhanov was celebrating his birthday.
- In Odesa, before a session of Malynovsky court in regard of the case of May 2, pro-Ukrainian men, most probably the local Community Defense Force, attacked and beat the journalist of the online media outlet “Taymer” Anton Dotsenko.
- The head of the press service of Mykolaiv oblast council state administration Svitlana Hurmaza, together with the Administration’s vice-head Oksana Yanishevska did not allow an online media outlet journalist Olena Melnikova and her cameraman into the session hall, where the head of the Administration Vadym Merikov was conducting a meeting with MPs elected in Mykolaivska oblast.
- Chernivtsi journalist of the web portal www.0372.ua Halyna Yemets received private messages on her Vkontakte account with threats to retaliate for materials she published on the website.
- During the session of the budget commission of Yavorivska rayon council (Lvivska oblast), activist of local People's Community Defense Yuriy Kentsal, who was recording the session with his video camera for publishing it later, received threats to get killed unless he stopped the recording.
- The military journalist, correspondent of the TV channel «Inter» Roman Bochkala informed that he was hospitalized after shelling of Pisky village near Donetsk Airport.
In this period of time, the only registered case of Internet pressure was connected with Russia’s support of separatists from the so-called DPR and LPR. But, it is actually surprising that the Russian branch of the international video hosting service YouTube took a side with the terrorists:
The Moscow office of YouTube satisfied the complaint of the pro-separatist resource News-Front and blocked the TSN’s video channel at YouTube. News-Front’s complaint concerned an alleged copyright infringement, using a fragment of their footage in one of TSN stories.
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.