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Since beginning of year 72 cases of violations of freedom of speech revealed in Ukraine – IMI survey

11.04.2019, 19:16
(Photo credits: European Union agancy for fundamental rights) Based on the results of the first quarter 2019, the experts of IMI revealed 72 facts of violations of freedom of speech. At the same time, more than a half of it (49 facts) were related to physical aggression. Compared to previous figures, during the same period last year we identified the same number of violations (71 facts). These are the results of the survey conducted by the Institute of Mass Information “Press freedom barometer”. The main categories of violations of the freedom of speech were: -obstruction of professional activity of journalism (33 cases). The number of this violation within the first quarter 2019 remained at the same level as a year ago for the same period (32 cases). -threatens (9 cases). The similar figures were revealed a year ago for the same period (10). -cyber attacks and restrictions of access to public information (6 cases in each of category). For comparison, last year the third position was the category of beating (this year, the third position is up to cyber attacks and restriction of an access to public information). In general, the violations of the freedom of speech were revealed in the whole territory of Ukraine 9in 18 regions). Leading position is taken by Kyiv and Kyiv region (26 facts). Further, the following regions are following: Dnipropetrovsk region, Volyn and Chernivetska region (5 incidents for each region), Zakarpattya region (4 incidents). There were revealed 3, 2 and 1 fact for other regions. Mostly, some private persons, law enforcement officers, officials of local and central administrations, deputies, officials of judicial authorities and members of election committees tried to obstruct professional activity of the journalists. Since beginning of the year, IMI experts identified 4 incidents of juridical and indirect pressure. Also there were revealed 3 incidents of beating and 3 attacks against the editorial offices, 2 cases of legal proceedings against mass media and 1 incident of damaging of journalists property and 1 incident of censorship. For the first time this year, the experts of IMI revealed cases of surveillance of the journalists: 3 cases (for comparison, through all year 2018 IMI revealed 2 similar cases). In particular, the editorial boards of the program “SChemy: corruption in details” amd Bihus.info claimed about the surveillance. Also, IMI identified an attempt of the General prosecutor’s office to violate the journalists’ right to protect their sources of information. In particular, the GPO obtained at the court of justice an access to internal documents of the editorial board of the newspaper “Novoe Vremya” and its journalist Ivan Verstyuk. But the journalists could defend their right to confidency of sources of information in the Appeal court. Also at first round of election of the President, IMI revealed several incidents where the members of election committees required accreditation from the journalists who were going to get in the polling stations. More detailed information of press freedom is available under the heading Freedom of press barometer. The Institute of Mass information conducts the monthly monitoring of the condition of press freedom in Ukraine in the following categories: physical aggression, censorship and access to information, economic and political pressure, legal pressure and cyber-crimes against mass media and journalists. The monthly report includes only cases related to freedom of press and professional journalism. More details about methodology can be found here.
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