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Not only election raises legal issues for journalists – IMI lawyer

07.05.2019, 17:57
Photo credits: UNSW current students The election raised several legal issues among the journalists, and on April 2019 the IMI lawyers Riman Holovenko and Ali Safarov provided with legal assistance relative to these issues to the journalists. But not only election campaign raised legal questions, as Ali Safarov told. As he reported, for instance, in Zhytomyr, a journalist filmed on video the hearing in the court, and the judge required he to present a solicitation for such activity. “The journalist called to the emergency phone line of IMI and he was explained that the judge could authorize to take video pictures within the trial over a criminal proceeding, not in civil proceeding or administrative one. Any authorization is not indispensable within such proceedings, so no solicitation is to be lodged. After this explanation, the judge stopped to impede the journalist to take pictures within a trial over an administrative offence. Another incident, when tnesshe journalists appealed to the IMI lawyers for an advice, was a subpoena for some journalists issued by the National security service (SBU) in Poltava region. The SBU required that the journalists had to testify in quality of witnesses regarding some incident they were recording in order to make public it. “As the reputation of the law enforcement bodies is far away of being beyond any reproach (and sometimes not without reason) so, the journalists contacted at first IMI asking for a legal advice, before they went to the SBU. We explained them that in fact any journalist can be subpoenaed to testify as a witness, but unlike any ordinary person, they have right not to reveal their source of information. So they can refuse to provide any materials they made referring to their journalistic rights, which were stipulated by the article 25th of the law “On information”, Ali Safarov told. Also, IMI lawyers gave legal advice on the status of the journalist and what makes it different from a blogger status, on tenancy agreement of the premises of reformed printed press outlets, use of drone aircraft by the journalists for their professional activity, date when the Law on Ukrainian language is to take effect and other questions. In a whole, 13 legal consultations were provided, 4 among them were related to the presidential election. We have to remind, the Institute of mass information goes on providing advice to the journalists whose professional rights are infringed through its emergency phone line. Consultations could be related not only press freedom and the rights of the journalists, but other issues, in particular, issues of advertisement in general and advertisement of some products, on author right, specificity of commercial agreements relative to mass media activity and so on. To get the legal aid you should call the number of emergency line of IMI: (050) 447 70 63 (during working hours, the days of the week), or send a message to info@imi.org.ua.
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