In April, Institute of Mass Information registered in total 17 violations of freedom of speech on the territory of Ukraine. Of them, the most violations were registered in the category “obstruction to lawful journalist activities” – 9, the number remained in the same level as it was in March. This is the data provided by the monthly IMI monitoring “Freedom of speech barometer”.
Violations of freedom of speech were registered by IMI experts in seven regions. Most cases took place in Kyiv (nine) and two other cases in Dnipropetrovska and Odeska oblasts, in other regions – one case in each.
Aggressors and violators were mainly private individuals and local authorities.
In April, IMI also registered 3 cases of limitation of access to public information by local authorities in Mykolaivska and Odeska oblasts and by the State Migration Service.
At the same time, IMI experts registered one of each in the categories “threats” and “beatings”. In particular, in Ternopilska oblast, journalist of investigations department of portal “Volyn 24”, Serhiy Shapoval, and cameraman of channel 12 Roman Kharchenko, were beaten during investigation of illegal sale of diesel fuel. The cameraman sustained brain concussion, as he was beaten with his camera to his head. Journalist Serhiy Shapoval has cheek cut, and the attackers also destroyed their equipment.
“Compared to March, the number of threats and beatings reduced. Yet the cases registered in April demonstrated the attitude of both politicians and common citizens to the work of journalists. For example, editor-in-chief of the magazine “Novoye Vremia” Vitaliy Sych stated that he received threats from MP Serhiy Pashynskyi because of publication of artical about corruption schemes of high officials in the defense sphere”, IMI media expert Kateryna Diachuk said.
Also, IMI registered one case in each of the categories “cyber-attack”, “political pressure” and “lawsuits against mass media”.
As a result, since the beginning of the year, IMI registered 41 cases of obstruction, 11 cases of threats, 8 cases of beatings and 8 cases of limitation of access to information.