Freedom of Press Barometer for October 2018
In October, IMI registered 12 violations of journalists' rights in seven regions of Ukraine. Of them, 10 cases is physical aggression against journalists. This is the data of the monthly monitoring of the Institute of Mass Information (IMI) “Freedom of Press Barometer”. The largest number of violations in October was registered by IMI experts in the category “obstruction to lawful journalist activities” - 8 (September - 5, August - 4). Journalists were not admitted to the city mayor meeting this month, their movements were blocked, microphone was pried off their hands, they were obstructed trying to ask an interviewee a question, were splashed on with an unknown substance, забороняли знімати, were attacked with fists, and approached by a person who wanted to talk but was holding a knife. The next by number of violations is the category of threats to journalists – two cases, which is a slight growth compared to September, when only one such case was registered. The largest number of violations of journalists' rights was registered in Kyiv – five, two in Lviv region and one case in each of Donetska oblast, Kirovohradska oblast, Mykolaivska oblast, Khmelnytska oblast, and in Chernivtsi. Those who were violating the right of journalists to practice their profession were private individuals, representatives of local authorities, members of the Parliament, law enforcement officers, and others. Also, in October there was one registered case of a cyber-attack, and one case of political pressure. IMI experts identified a case of cyber-attack that was not used against journalists before. In particular, unidentified people were sending a massive amount of phishing e-mails signing them with the name of Mykhailo Tkach, an investigative journalist of the program “Skhemy: koruptsiya v detaliakh” ("Schemes: Corruption in Details"). These letters from fake e-mail to the journalist's name were reported by dozens of people, including common citizens, MPs, judges, politicians and officials, Mykhailo's Facebook friends, and his colleagues. In addition, ІМІ emphasizes stressful conditions that journalists have to work in. In particular, in Khmelnytskyi, an unknown man with a knife was obstructing the work of the local journalist Larysa Svitlovska, who was taking footage for a story for one of central TV channels. Thus, since the beginning of the year, IMI registered 80 cases of obstruction to lawful journalist activities, 28 cases of beatings of journalists, 27 cases of threats, 15 cases of limiting access to information, and 14 cases of cyber attacks.
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