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Media organizations and GPO signed Memorandum to fight impunity for attacks on journalists

15.09.2021, 14:18
Photo credit: OKsana Romanyuk, IMI
Photo credit: OKsana Romanyuk, IMI

Media and human rights NGOs and the Prosecutor General's Office signed a Memorandum of understanding and cooperation.

The signature took place on September 13 at the Prosecutor General's Office.

The memorandum was signed by the Institute of Mass Information, the Crimean Human Rights Group, the Institute for Regional Press Development, “Human Rights Platform”, “Detector Media” and the ZMINA Human Rights Center.

The purpose of the memorandum is to consolidate the efforts of the parties aimed at: 

  • defining a common vision for improving ways to protect the rights of journalists from unlawful encroachments;
  • facilitating and bringing about freedom and security of journalists through protection guaranteed by law and the case law of the European Court of Human Rights, as well as Ukraine's obligations as a member state of the Council of Europe;
  • improving the effectiveness of supervision and compliance with the law during the pre-trial investigation, as well as obtaining public prosecution in criminal proceedings for criminal offenses committed against journalistic activities, and bringing to justice those guilty of criminal offenses committed against journalistic activities;
  • bringing about openness, transparency and independent activity of the prosecutor's office, coverage of their activities within specific criminal proceedings and achievements, in particular, on bringing to justice those guilty of committing criminal offenses targeting journalistic activity.

The parties agreed to cooperate in the following areas: 

  • preparation of proposals for improving the legislation on issues within the competence of the GPO;
  • participation in public discussions of draft oflaws, statutes, codes, rules, regulations and requirements of mutual interest;
  • assistance in monitoring violations of the legal rights and interests of journalists from unlawful encroachments and developing a mechanism for obtaining data on persecution and obstruction of their professional activities as soon as possible;
  • organization and holding of joint public events on topical issues; 
  • coverage of the activities of the prosecutor's office on the organization of procedural guidance in criminal proceedings on criminal offenses committed against journalistic activities.  
Photo credit: IMI

The IMI Executive Director Oksana Romanyuk congratulated the signing of this memorandum.

"This is an important step in developing a systemic mechanism to protect journalism and respond quickly to violations of freedom of expression," she said.

"First of all, we follow the monthly survey of the Institute of Mass Information "Freedom of Speech Barometer". We study it and send it to the regions so that the regional prosecutor's offices can work there,”said Oleh Pelepyuk, Deputy Head of the Law Enforcement Department of the National Police of Ukraine and Agencies Countering Organized and Transnational Crime, Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine.

Following the signing of the memorandum, a briefing for journalists will be held at the Prosecutor General's Office at 1:30 p.m.

As IMI reported, on May 25, 2021, the Institute of Mass Information provided the Office of the Prosecutor General with a list of violations of journalists' rights for investigation and proposed to establish a working group to to achieve more progress of such investigations. The PGO has expressed its willingness to contribute to the investigations of the crimes against journalists.

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