Freedom of speech barometer summary for November, 2017
In November of 2017, media experts of IMI registered 20 violations of the rights of journalists and freedom of press on the non-occupied territory of Ukraine. This is the data provided by the monthly monitoring of the Institute of Mass Information “Freedom of press barometer”. In November, the most numerous were violations in the category of obstruction to lawful journalist activities (7 cases). In spite of decrease of the number of obstructions of journalist activities in November, compared to the previous months, this category remains the leader among the types of freedom of press violations in Ukraine since the start of the year. In November, the right of journalist to practice their profession was mostly violated by provate individuals – 13 cases, law enforcement agencies and local authorities – 2 cases each. In addition, in November there were 3 cases of beatings of journalists. In particular, the filming crew of the program «Skhemy» at Radio Liberty was again the target of beatings – they tried to record the arrival of Medvedchuk to the VIP terminal of the airport «Kyiv»; in Mykolaiv, local residents who did not like the fact that the journalist was video recording on the street, punch his head and robbed him. And the third case of beatings was registered in Stryi, where the local resident who disliked article about him in the local media outlet, came to the office and punched the journalist in the head with something that looked like a knuckle duster. In total, in November IMI registered violations of freedom of press in 9 oblasts of Ukraine. The «anti-leader» region by the number of violations in the pas month was Kyiv together with its oblast, where over one third of the registered violations took place – 8 cases. «IMI insists on investigating all cases of violations of journalists’ rights and attacks against mass media offices. In particular, of serious concern is the situation with the journalists of “Skhemy”, who were attacked twice in the last two months. As a reminder, even last year the journalists of “Skhemy” were victims of SBU officers, and the proceeding on this case was being closed several times. This proves lack of interest of law enforcement officers in investigating the cases where law enforcement officers are the offenders», IMI expert Kateryna Diachuk commented. ***For more details about the status of freedom of press, please refer to the website of IMI, the section «Freedom of press barometer».IMI reminds the journalists, that in case of violation of their rights, they need to: call the police; to file a written complaint about the offence and to demand it to be included into the Unified Register of pre-trial investigations; to make the fact of obstruction public to the fullest possible extent, in particular, by informing the journalist organizations with the relevant field of expertise about the case.IMI provides general and legal counsel in such cases (firstname.lastname@example.org, 0442893613, 0504477063).The Institute of Mass Information conducts a monthly all-Ukrainian monitoring of freedom of press according to the following categories: physical aggression, censorship and access to information, economic and political pressure, legal pressure and cybercrime against media outlets and journalists. The monthly report includes only the cases related to freedom of press and professional journalist activity. The methodology is outlined here. The monitoring is conducted with support of the program U-Media Internews Network.
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