Freedom of Expression Barometer for May 2013
Despite the fact that, in May, there were actually only two working weeks, because of traditional Ukrainian holidays, there was a sharp rise in number of beatings and attacks on journalists - 8 cases (compared to 1 in April and 4 in March). At the same time, the number of obstructions to carry out legitimate professional journalistic activities declined slightly - to 8 (compared to 11 in April and 15 in March). These are the data of the IMI monthly monitoring Press Freedom Barometer.
In May, the number of cases of censorship slightly increased – to 6 cases (compared with 5 cases in April and 3 in March). At the same time, the number of lawsuits against the media and journalists reduced to 4 (compared to 6 lawsuits in April and 3 in March). IMI also recorded 2 cases of economical pressure and 3 – of political pressure.
The most high-profile event in May was the beating of journalist Olga Snitsarchuk of TV 5 Kanal and photographer of "Kommersant-Ukraine" daily Vlad Sodel. Sodel and Snitsarchuk were attacked when they were taking photos during an opposition rally in Kyiv on May 18. Journalists established the identity of the aggressor – it appeared, he was the resident of Bila Tserkva town of the Kyiv region, his name is Vadim Titushko, and he is a sportsman. However, the police did not hurry to use photos and video that the media were willing to provide. Due to the indecision of the police in the beating of journalists, omissions after the incident, and the lack of progress in the investigation, media representatives organized a wave of protests. Specifically, on May 20, about 150 journalists rallied near the Interior Ministry in Kyiv with demand to investigate the beating of journalists. On May 22, in Kyiv, during the opening session of the Cabinet of Ministers, 10 journalists turned around and showed Ministers their back, on which there were posters "Today journalist! Tomorrow - your wife, sister, daughter. Do something!" Prime Minister Azarov threatened to deprive the journalists of government accreditation. The lack of activities of police was also condemned by a number of international organizations, such as Reporters Without Borders, Freedom House, International Committee to Protect Journalists, the European Commission, and the Embassies of UK and USA to Ukraine.
On May 25, in Brovary town of the Kyiv Oblast, Mayesh Pravo Znaty online newspaper journalist Andriy Kachor was beaten by an unknown man so that he lost consciousness. The incident occurred during a protest rally against an illegal building by private enterprise "Fesko", owned by Sergei Fedorenko - personal masseur of PM Mykola Azarov.
In May, IMI also recorded several cases of censorship. In particular, the media attention was attracted to Ukrainian Forbes magazine, which edited material on its website, removing the name of the eldest son of the President of Ukraine Oleksandr Yanukovych from the list of people who earned the most on the Ukrainian Railways.
In May, the government and the opposition have joined forces to put pressure on freedom of speech. On May 21, the court ordered the owner of an internet forum Anton Pankov to pay 14 million hryvnias to a building company for discussion of problems of the building in the Internet. The scandalous nuance of the situation is connected not only with the amount of the claim, but also with the fact that the company St Sophia Homes, which filed a claim, is associated with MP from the Party of Regions David Zhvania and oppositional MP Mykola Martynenko.
Arrests, detentions - 1
1. At the "Mezhyhirya" berkutivtsi detained Lviv journalists
22.05.2013 In the village of Petrivtsi, near the residence of President Viktor Yanukovych, armed fighters of Berkut special squad detained a car with journalists of Express newspaper (Lviv). The soldiers searched the journalists and the editorial car, checked licenses, certificates of assignment, recorded their home addresses, clarifying the purpose of their visiting the village at the President’s mansion.
Threats and intimidation - 2
1. Lube group administrator threatened journalists in Donetsk
17.05.2013 In Donetsk, the administrator of "Lube" music group, who performed at an anti-fascist rally in the city, threatened journalists of "Donetsk. Comments " online-newspaper and other media.
A man who did not give his name, began to threaten journalists, when they came into the tent behind the scenes.
2. Ternopil newspaper threatened with court over critical report
28.05.2013 In Ternopil, an organizer of Ocean Elzy group threatened local online newspaper "About Everything" with a lawsuit through the material about the poor organization of people crossing the stadium, where the concert took place. The edition pointed out that, to get to the stadium, Ternopil residents had to stand in long queues. After the report was published, they received a phone call from a representative of organizers. He pressed journalists to remove the critical publication, and threatened them with a lawsuit. The edition refused to wipe out the information.
Beatings, assaults - 8
1. Sportsmen beat journalists at protest meeting
18.05.2013 A conflict erupted between representatives of the opposition and a group of unidentified men on Velyka Zhytomyrska Street in Kyiv on May 18, which later turned into a brawl. The young men began throwing water bottles and stones, Kyiv Post reported.
Several people, including Channel 5 journalist Olha Snitsarchuk and Kommersant photographer Vladyslav Sodel, were injured in the incident.
The scuffle took place during the opposition's Rise Up, Ukraine! campaign (on Sofiyska Square) and a Party of Regions rally (on European Square). The incident occurred outside the building of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry's office in Kyiv.
On May 20, it was reported that the leadership of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry's main office in Kyiv had ordered an internal investigation regarding the inaction of law enforcement officers during the incident on Velyka Zhytomyrska Street on May 18.
On May 21, the media liaisons office of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry reported that a suspect in the beating of journalists had been detained. Based on the evidence received, an investigator reclassified the actions from "causing minor injuries" of Part 1, Article 121 to "hooliganism" of Part 2, Article 296 of the Criminal Code.
On May 23, the Verkhovna Rada set up a temporary investigation commission to probe the May 18 attacks on the media in Kyiv.
Criminal proceedings were launched on the May 18 incident under Part 2 of Article 296 of the Criminal Code (hooliganism) and Part 1 of Article 171 of the Criminal Code (hindering journalists from their professional activities).
On May 22, Shevchenkivsky District Court released suspect Vadym Titushko from a pre-trial detention facility on Hr 22,940 bail.
2. During the protests on May 18 attacked one another photographer
18.05.2013 During the opposition rally in Kyiv on May 18, another one journalist was beaten. Photographer Maxim Polishchuk was pushed to the ground by Berkut special police department employees at Sophia Square in the center of Kyiv. "It happened when Berkut "stormed the tent" of an opposition party ", - said Maxim Polishchuk. The photographer did not complain to the police. Maxim Polishchuk was shooting the action on May 18 as a freelancer. His pictures were published later by Ukrainian News agency.
3. Driver attacked journalist after a protest action in Khmelnytskiy
22.05.2013 In Khmelnytskiy, one of traffic accident participants attacked Oksana Chushkina, correspondent of Khmelnitsky regional TV and radio station “Podillya-Center”. In particular, the man did not like that he was shot on camera.
"An unknown man twisted my arms, took my cell phone, pushed me in the chest and threw my phone on the front seat of a police car. I do not understand why this man behaved so aggressively. I performed professional duties of a journalist, and I am surprised that no one responded to this situation, "- said Chushkina. Law enforcement officers who were at the scene did not interfere into the situation.
4. Journalist severely beaten at protest action in Brovary
25.05.2013 In Brovary, during a rally against an illegal building in the local Peremohy park, unknown people attacked and beat Andriy Kachor, journalist of Mayesh Pravo Znaty web-site. The fence around the building site was built by Fesko company, owned by Serhiy Fedorenko - personal masseur of Prime Minister Mykola Azarov.
According to the Kachor, he took video of scuffles between rally participants, when one of the men tried to remove the journalist from the scene. Kachor explained that he was a journalist, but that did not stop the attacker. "I kept shooting, and the man began to pull me rougher out of the scene. He hit me in the face and I lost consciousness, "- said Kachor. The journalist applied to Brovarskiy city police department.
5. Newspaper editor beaten in Olexandria
26.05.2013 Za Nashu Peremohu ("For our victory") newspaper chief editor Boris Logvinov (Olexandria, the Kirovohrad region) applied to the Prosecutor General's Office on the fact of his beating. According to him, on May 26, at about 10 p.m., he was attacked and inflicted serious bodily injury. Logvinov believes that the attack is connected with his journalistic activities. On May 7, the newspaper published a critical article about Olexandria Mayor Stepan Tsapyuk. “On May 22 the Mayor voiced threats to me on television, and on May 26 I was attacked on demand Tsaplyuk " - said Logvinov.
6. Group of youths attacked journalists in Brovary district
28.05.2013 In the village of Bogdanivka in the Brovary district, five youths attacked a group of journalists of The Old Center newspaper. The damaged the car of journalists, who arrived in Bogdanivka on editorial task. In addition, the youths beat journbalist Paata Kursua. According to journalist Vitaly Lytvynenko, he and his colleagues arrived to Bogdanivka to promote their newspaper. During the action near a local shop, a group of young people approached journalists, and, having got to know that they were from a newspaper, the youths began to beat them. The journalist wrote an application to the police.
7. Journalist attacked after winning case vs police
29.05.2013 Victor Kotenko, chief editor of Svoboda weekly (Zhytomyr) was attacked by court guards and lawyer Natalia Tsyganchuk at the Zhytomyr Oblast Court of Appeal. The journalist was attacked after a trial on the suit brought by police colonel Mykola Budzinskiy against critical articles published by the journalist. The court turned down the Budzinskiy’s suit, and claimed that it was unfounded.
8. Son of chief doctor broke foot of newspaper correspondent in Lviv
30.05.2013 In Stebnyk town of the Lviv Oblast, son of the local hospital chief doctor Andriy Pukalo inflicted injuries and broke the foot of Ruslan Solonets, chief editor of Truskavetska Gazeta newspaper. According to the journalist, he was taking the video of the hospital collective meeting, which raised the issue of financial abuse committed by chief doctor Roman Pukalo. The journalist said that the attacker did not like that he was shooting the meeting on camera: "They did not like that the journalist was present there." "I was attacked by son of the chief doctor Andriy Pukalo, he is also a doctor of the hospital... When I was taking video of what was happening in the hospital, an unknown man stepped very much on foot. I realized that it was a provocation and did not respond, and continued to shoot. After a while I went to the assembly hall where the meeting was to take place, and someone caught me and started kicking me in the leg” - said Solonets.
Obstruction to fulfill journalist activities - 8
1. Advisor to the Mayor of Sevastopol tried to expel the journalist's press conference
13.05.2013 Advisor to Sevastopol City State Administration Head Victor Drachenko tried to expel from a press conference Iryna Postolchyk, journalist of Sevas.ru local online newspaper. The official accused the reporter of critical headlines, which, in terms of Drachenko, offends the honor and dignity of the head of the Sevastopol City State Administration Volodymyr Yatsuba. The journalist said that the offensive phrase does not belong to her, but to Sevastopol communist leader Vasil Parkhomenko.
"Ira, you must have journalistic conscience. So I ask you to leave the press conference,"- said Drachenko. When the journalist refused to leave the press conference, Drachenko "removed the issue from discussion", but complained that Postolchuk had no conscience.
2. Wife of "regional" hampered ICTV reporters to shoot antifascist rally
18.05.2013 Victoria Dimitrova, the wife of a member of the Party of Regions, ex-deputy of the Mykolayiv Oblast Council Anatoliy Semenkov, prohibited ICTV TV-channel crew to shoot the Mykolayiv delegation at the antifascist rally in Kyiv. Dimitrova interfered in the work of journalists when they were asking the rally participants about the reasons of their arrival in Kyiv. She tried to grab the microphone of journalist Volodymyr Horkovenko, and stated that members of the delegation are not allowed to be interviewed. When asked by the journalist to introduce herself, Dimitrova said that she is "the same as everyone else" and refused to introduce herself.
3. Unknown people attacked journalist when he was interviewing rally participants in Brovary
18.05.2013 In Brovary, two unknown men hampered professional activities of Dmytro Karpiy, journalist of Mayesh Pravo Znaty online-edition. The journalist was finding out why the local authorities organized and brought people from budgetary institutions to participate in the anti-fascist meeting in Kyiv on May 18. When trying to figure out all the circumstances, Karpiy was repeatedly attacked by two unknown men. One man saw the camcorder and, using foul language, demanded the journalist to leave the place, he also tried to hit and pull the camera. The second man began kicking and beating the journalist to take the camcorder, when the journalist tried to escape by bus.
4. In Lutsk, journalists not allowed in court
21.05.2013 In Lutsk, journalists were not allowed in the City District Court. The court examined the case of a tax evasion in a large scale - over 10.5 million hryvnias. However, employees of Gryfon guard force did not allow the journalists to enter the court, referring to a special instructions. This provoked an outrage among representatives of the media. Soon a girl came out to the journalists and confirmed that there was a special instruction not to allow journalists into the court premise. However, after debates, some media representatives managed to enter the court and be present during the trial.
5. Local mayor banished journalist from city council session
24.05.2013 Kamin Kashyrskiy town (the Volyn Oblast) Mayor Vasyl Bondar banished Bohdan Ptashnyk, journalist of Visti Kamenya website, from the city council session. The journalist was planning to take the video of the session, and reported it to the Mayor before the beginning. However, the Mayor became interested whether the journalist registered in advance to be present at the session. "When I pointed out to him that it complies with the legislation and no one (nor a journalist, neither an ordinary citizen) cannot be restricted in their right to attend the session of the local government, Mr Mayor "burst out", he began to rudely demand my journalist card "- said the journalist.
Finally, the Mayor put to the vote the question of legality of the journalist’s presence. The journalist, understanding the local deputies were likely to support the Mayor, left the premise.
6. In Donetsk, the director of stadium pushed the journalist and obscenely abused
25.05.2013 In Donetsk, during the opening of Olympic stadium after a reconstruction, director Gennady Kalischuk hindered the work of URA-Inform.Donbass news agency correspondent Olena Pankratova. Kalischuk did not allow her to the event, pushed her to the door, and obscenely insulted.
7. Journalist forbidden to shoot meeting of village council members in Odesa region
30.05.2013 In Vyhoda village of the Bilyaivsky district of the Odessa Oblast, journalist Serhiy Hutsanov was forbidden to take photos of a meeting of village council members with chairman of the District Council Olexander Semenov. Meeting participants were to discuss the allocation of land for the construction of an Orthodox church. At the beginning of the meeting, those present asked the journalist about the reasons of his presence in the room. The meeting participants asked Hutsanov to leave the room.
8. Chernivtsi journalist forbidden to take photos of Regional Administrative Court
31.05.2013 Nadia Virna, correspondent of Chas newspaper (Chernivtsi) and activist of "Justice Without Barriers" campaign, was forbidden to take photos of the building of Chernivtsi Regional Administrative Court. Court employees forbade her to take photos even of the frontage of the building, when the journalist approached the courthouse. Also, she was strictly forbidden to photograph the entry to the building, the metal detector, and stairs. Court chief Anatoliy Ohorodnyk claimed that it is forbidden to take photos, though he could not name any respective laws or legal acts.
CENSORSHIP. ACCESS TO INFORMATION.
Censorship - 5
1. In Zhytomyr, journalists not invited to Executive Committee meeting, which raised utility rates
17.05.2013 Journalists were not invited to the meeting of the Zhytomyr Executive Committee, which raised tariffs on utilities, because there was not enough space in the room. This was stated by public relations department head Olga Bilobrovets.
She said that journalists could not ask questions at the meeting of the executive committee, so their presence was not required. "For you, we have prepared a special press conference with the head of housing department. At the meeting of the executive committee, there was not enough space in the room,"- said Bilobrovets.
Asked by journalists why some members of the media were still present, the public relations head did not respond.
2. Forbes edited material about tender winners, with removing Yanukovych son from article
29.05.2013 Ukrainian Forbes edited its material, eliminating the name of the eldest son of the President of Ukraine Oleksandr Yanukovych from those who earned the most on the Ukrainian Railways. This is confirmed by a comparative analysis of two articles of the magazine.
Thus, on May 27, the edition placed a material of journalist Serhiy Golovnyov about those who win tenders for the Ukrainian Railways. It provided, in particular, a reference to the data of "Bulletin of State Procurement", which stated that Olexandr Yanukovych controls the company that won in 2013 a one third of all tenders of the monopoly rail transporter in Ukraine.
The material listed companies that are allegedly linked with Olexandr Yanukovych. Shortly, it became impossible to find this publication on «Forbes.ua» web site. Although the material can be found in the Google cache. Later, Forbes.ua published a “corrected” material, without any information about Olexander Yanukovych.
3. Party of Regions headquarters sent "temniks" with instructions to make journalist Snitsarchuk guilty
30.05.2013 The central headquarters of the Party of Regions sent to all MPs “temniks” with recommendations on how to comment and interpret the events of May 18, during which journalists Olga Snitsarchuk and Vlad Sodel were beaten. Glavkom edition, which received this temnik, reported about it. Pro-government deputies were tasked to bring the message to our fellow citizens that the opposition failed their action, and now writes off their failure on the government.
"Regionals" are advised to focus on the fact that the journalist Olga Snitsarchuk "did not provide conclusive results of the medical examination." Also PR spin doctors advised to remember how Snitsarchuk responded to "the attack of Svoboda fighters at women-deputies from the Party of Regions."
"To make the journalists guilty is one of the main goals of the "regionals". They were instructed to report to the public that she was actually a provoker" - wrote the publication.
4. Donetsk Oblast Tax Administration invites only selected media to its events
30.05.2013 The Donetsk Oblast Department of the Ministry of Incomes and Taxes of Ukraine invites to their events only selected media, Novosti Donbassa reported.
According to the edition, on May 28, the press service of the organization distributed a message saying that acting Chief of the Ministry of Incomes and Taxes Donetsk Oblast Department Vadym Bondarenko held a presentation of the Ministry and its territorial bodies in the Donetsk region. However, journalists of Novosti Donbassa, as well as a number of other regional media, did not receive any announcements about the event.
Journalists asked why they were not invited to the events, since the tax administration activities are of interest for the public. In response, the press service of the Ministry of Incomes and Taxes Donetsk Oblast Department said that the room, in which the event was held, was too small and did not allow inviting all the media, so they only invited to the presentation the regional TV-channels - "Union", "Donbass", "Donetsk RSTBC."
5. Donetsk television channels and radio stations refused to broadcast the announcement of the opposition campaign
31.05.2013 Four radio stations of Donetsk refused to broadcast announcements of "Arise, Ukraine!" opposition action scheduled in Donetsk for May 31. This was reported by the Batkivschyna party press service. According to the report, during two days, the four radio stations were broadcasting the announcements of "Arise, Ukraine" action. "But today, all stations stopped the broadcasting. They refused to give reasons for this decision ", - the party stated.
Moreover, Donetsk TV-channels refused to broadcast announcements of the opposition’s action scheduled for May 31. One of opposition leaders Arseniy Yatseniuk claimed this in an interview with Ostriv online-edition.
Access to Information – 1
1. Response to journalist inquiry assessed at 1582 UAH in Kirovohrad Oblast
31.05.2013 The Kirovohrad Oblast Road Service estimated the cost of preparing a response to an inquiry for information at 1582 hryvnias. The inquiry was sent by Vzayemodopomoha newspaper and dealt with the construction of bypass roads near Znamianka town. In particular, the journalists asked to inform them: "When the construction of bypass roads in Znamyanka will be completed? How much work has remained unfulfilled, and what are the planned amounts of funding? How much does a square meter of the news road cost? Who is the contractor (contractors)? ".
Instead of an answer to the inquiry, the journalists received an invoice with a demand to pay for for photocopies and printing services. The cost of the response to the request was estimated by the Road Service at 1582 hryvnias 86 kopecks. According to the invoice, the number of sheets with the answer made up 1040, out of which 933 were A4 format, and the rest - A3.
Economic pressure - 2
1. Collective of TBA TV-channel asks Chernivtsi governor to defend them from ex-CEO
15.05.2013 The collective of TBA TV-channel claimed about attempts of former TV director Vasyl Zabrodsky to destroy the TV-channel. In this connection, the journalists sent a letter to Chernivtsi Oblast governor Mykhailo Papiev, asking him to support and solve the situation.
The collective claimed about a raider attack on the TV-station, organized by V.Zabrodskiy, and his letters to the National Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting, in which he has been trying to persuade them to close the TV-channel. The journalist collective also mentioned a number of financial problems, which were caused by the conflict, and threatened the existence of the TV-channel.
2. TVi new head claimed about pressure of government
20.05.2013 Director of "Interprofit" Ltd. (TVi production) Oleh Radchenko claimed that the government continues to press TVi channel to stop its activities. Specifically, on May 17th, the TV-channel received an inspection from Golosiyivsky district tax office, which imposed on Interprofit a penalty of more than half a million hryvnias. "This penalty is unreasonable, and we will pass our objections to the tax inspection in the nearest 5 days " - said Radchenko.
Political pressure - 3
1. During a protest action in the Cabinet, Azarov ordered to deny accreditation of journalists
22.05.2013 During the opening session of the Cabinet of Ministers, 10 journalists staged a protest action demanding to investigate the beating of journalist Olga Snitsarchuk (TV 5 Kanal) during a rally in Kyiv on May 18. In response to the protest, PM Azarov ordered the government to deprive the journalists of accreditation. "All the names should be written and deprived of accreditation. We respect the work of journalists, but do not turn the meeting into a circus," - he added.
2. ZIK media-holding claims that the National Council prevents radio Life to go on air
27.05.2013 ZIK media-holding claimed that the National Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting tried to prevent ZIK journalists to go on air of new radio station “Life", which was bought by the management of the holding. This is stated in an open letter of the journalist collective to the National Council.
Journalists pay attention to the fact that after two years of unsuccessful attempts to obtain a license for radio frequencies in the Lviv region, ZIK signed an agreement with LLC "Bureau of Ideas" about the management of Life radio station.
The agreement between the owners of "Life" and ZIK was concluded on May 23. According to the ZIK, radio "Life" should have launched its broadcasting on May 27. However, after the deal, ZIK journalists got to know that the National Council was urgently amending its agenda to discuss the issue of depriving the radio Life of its broadcasting license. ZIK journalists regarded it as a fact of pressure.
3. Kharkiv journalist claimed about increased pressure on media
05.30.2013 Kharkiv journalist made a statement about the increase of pressure on the local media and the deterioration of freedom of speech in Ukraine. This is said in the statement published on the web-site of Glavnoye local online-edition.
In particular, the statement referred to the incident with Kolos newspaper, when the district and town councils changed the founders of the newspaper, and sacked chief editor Halyna Parkhomenko.
“We are outraged by the fact of pressure upon our colleagues, and the attempt to deprive them of their right to be co-founders of the newspaper, "- reads the statement.
The authors of the statement urged all colleagues to show professional solidarity and require law enforcement bodies and the government to respond to the violation of the law.
Lawsuits against media and journalists - 4
1. Court ruled that Internet-forum owner should pay 14 mln hryvnias to MPs Zhvania and Martynenko
21.05.2013 Anton Pankov, the owner of an Internet-forum, at which inhabitants of one of the luxury houses discussed their problems, should pay 14 million hryvnias to St Sophia Homes company. This was a ruling of the Dniprovskiy district court of Kyiv. The court also ruled to seize the apartment of Pankov, where he lives with his family, including two babies, 1 year and 3 months old.
The reason for the company’s appeal to court was the web site stsophia.com.ua, created by activists, where they criticized the company that owns the building St.Sophia Homes. The essence of the claim was that the existence of a forum hampered selling apartments in the building. And the plaintiff claimed that the forum owner should bear responsibility.
Chairman of the initiative group of tenants Olexander Kondratenko claimed that they created the site, which became a kind of chronicle of nearly three years of war between the inhabitants and the developer, and was the only instrument of influence on him.
St Sophia Homes company is associated with MP from the Party of Regions David Zhvania and oppositional MP Mykola Martynenko.
2. Police demands 100 thousand hryvnias from newspaper, journalist and lawyer
22.05.2013 Three employees of Volyn Oblast police, Yuri Pylypiuk, Bogdan Shcherbatyuk and Volodymyr Andreychuk, lodged a claim for retraction of the information issued in Volyn-Nova newspaper, and demand to recover to everyone 33 thousand hryvnias of compensation. The case was heard on May 22 in the Lutsk District Court. The police employees turned to court over an interview with lawyer Oleg Antonyuk, which was published in the newspaper in December 2012. In the interview, the lawyer criticized the three police officers who, in his opinion, forged a criminal case against local resident Andriy Lohvynenko.
3. Chernobyl NPP director sues journalist and Nuclear News Agency over article
27.05.2013 Director General of the Chernobyl NPP Ihor Hramotkin brought a suit against freelance journalist Olexander Kupny and the owner of Nuclear News Agency web site.
Hramotkin requires to refute false, in his opinion, information in the article "Object" Shelter ": 12/02/2013 - Nothing Magic, Just Negligence" published on the news agency website.
The Chernobyl NPP director general demands to disprove the inadequate information, and to pay
458.80 hryvnias of court fees.
The author of the material disagrees and regards the claim "as an attempt to silence a journalist ".
4. Luhansk TV-station Irta received two lawsuits from local police
30.05.2013 Independent TV-radio company "Irta" (Luhansk) received two lawsuits from the Luhansk Directorate of the Interior Ministry of Ukraine. The police demanded to refute materials that were broadcast in “Enough of Silence” program, and accused the journalists of one-sided coverage and humiliation of honor and dignity.
In March of 2013, the TV-station journalists prepared materials about the situation in Alchevsky hospital. According to the information posted on the official website of the Luhansk Oblast Directorate of Internal Affairs Ministry of Ukraine, a pregnant resident of Alchevsk was trying to poison her unborn child. "Our crew immediately went to the Alchevsky hospital. Chief doctor Oleksandr Sapelnykov agreed to comment on the situation. He confirmed that there was really a pregnant woman in his hospital, but neither chemicals nor drugs were found in her blood ", - said journalist Serhiy Ostapenko. Journalists tried to get comments from the spokesperson of the Luhansk Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Tatiana Pohukay, but she flatly refused to communicate.
"Tatiana Pohukay ignored phone calls and did not respond to requests for information. And sometimes she directly interfered into the activities of media. In particular, in the spring last year, our television crew was closed without explanations and detained for about two hours in one of the departments of the Internal Affairs of Ukraine in Luhansk Oblast"- said the chief editor Eugene Samohvalov.
The second program, which was the subject of the claim, was dedicated to the Lugansk branch of Road Control. "During the live broadcast, journalists covered the topic of bribery among traffic police"- said the head of the program and anchor Karolina Poltavska.
Cyber ??crimes against journalists and media - 1
1.Kerch.FM web site suffered powerful DDoS-attack after it posted critical material
31.05.2013 Kerch.FM was subjected to a powerful DDoS-attack from May 31 to June 3. The edition connects the attack with criticism of the city government. Recently they published a series of articles with criticism of local authorities, in particular, Kerch Mayor Oleh Osadchiy.
"We always write about events that happen in the city, but in the last month we have written several articles about the voting for mayor, referring to the Komentari web-site. And, simultaneously with the publications, in April, early in May, and the middle of May, we have seen a dramatic surge of negativity in the comments... ", - the journalists told IMI.
According to the web-site administrator, the site saw a large flow of information - more than 12 gigabits per second. He also added that such attacks cost from 100 to 1,000 dollars a day, depending on with whom to negotiate. "With the anticipated cost of such services, and taking into account their complexity, it can be concluded that the customer is a very serious and influential person," – Kerch.FM journalists said.