In December, IMI experts registered in Ukraine, in total, 16 cases of violations of freedom of speech in eight regions. Of them, 12 cases is physical aggression against journalists. this is the data of monthly monitoring of the Institute of Mass Information (IMI) “Freedom of speech barometer”.
The largest number of the December violations was registered in the category “obstruction of lawful journalist activities” – 7 (for comparison, November – 9, October – 8, September – 5, August – 4).
This month, the journalists were obstructed by the representatives of authorities and by private individuals. In particular, journalists were pushed (as it was in Odesa, where the city mayor Hennadiy Trukhanov pushed the correspondent of Radio Liberty, Mykhailo Shtekel, to leave the briefing room). In Kramatorsk, the foreman of construction workers took away the journalist’s phone by force, and forced its owner, Andriy Romanenko, to erase the video showing how they were doing road construction right at the time of rain.
Next by the number of violations is two cases of limitation of access to public information. In particular, the journalists complained that the Presidential Administration does not provide the information they requested.
In December, IMI experts also registered 2 cases of each of attacks and threats. One of the case was in Poltava region – an attack and beating of the editor of the local weekly edition “ECHO” – he was punched in his face several times. The editor says this attack must be related to his journalist activities.
Also, IMI registered one case of a cyber-attack, one attack against the office of media outlet, and one case of legal pressure. In Lviv, representatives of several NGOs attempted to forcefuly get into the editorial office of Zaxid.net.
Unidentified people sent out a bogus message about death of former President Viktor Yanukovych under the pretence of information agency UNIAN. The editorial office of the agency reported that this is a provocation and the agency is not in any way related to sending out this message.
The largest number of violations were registered in Kyiv (7), two in each of Poltavska and Rivnenska oblasts, and one case in each of Donetska oblast, Zakarpatska oblast, Odeska oblast, Lvivska and Kharkivska oblasts.
This month, the right of journalists to their profession was violated by provate individuals, and representatives of central and local authorities.
Thus, since the beginning of the year, ІМІ registered 96 cases of impediments to lawful professional activities of journalists, 33 cases of threats, 31 case of beating of journalists, 19 cases of limitation of access, and 15 cases of cyber attacks.