In July, the IMI experts recorded a total number of 25 cases of violation of press freedom in Ukraine. Of these, 19 cases were involving physical aggression against the journalists. These are the figures of the monthly monitoring held by the Institute of Mass Information “Press Freedom Barometer”.
Mainly, these violations of journalists’ rights were incidents of obstruction of legitimate journalistic activity – 8 incidents of the kind and threats – 7 incidents. The number of obstruction remained at the same level as in June. At the same time, the number of threats has almost doubled (three cases were recorded in June).
This month, the violations were related, in particular, to the coverage of election campaign and the elections to the Verkhovna Rada. In particular, the members of election commissions were obstructing the work of journalists and threatening them. Thus, in Poltava, the photographer for “Zmist” Bogdan Proskurov was forbidden to take pictures at the polling station, even after he showed his press card.
In Bakhmut, Donetsk region, several members of the election commission impeded the work of the journalist for “Vilne Radio” Diana Sharodi, who found out that the commission violated the procedure of votes counting. In Odessa, journalists of Hromadske were not allowed to the polling station, and in Pokrovsk, Donetsk region, the election commission forbade journalists to attend the meeting.
IMI identified facts of violations of press freedom and journalists’ rights in 11 regions of Ukraine.
According to the monitoring, as usual, the front-runner in terms of number of violations is Kyiv, where 10 cases were recorded in July. Then, it is followed by five regions with two cases for each: Mykolaiv, Odesa, Donetsk, Poltava and Vinnytsia. In other regions, there was one case for each.
In June, the right of journalists to exercise the profession was violated by individuals, members of election commissions, the judiciary, local authorities, deputies, law enforcement, channel management, candidates at parliamentary election.
Also, this month, IMI recorded two cases for next categories: beatings, attacks on editorial offices, censorship and legal pressure. In addition, there was one case for restricting access to public information and one cyber-attack.
The Ukrinform news agency was attacked. During the attack, young guys who wanted to disrupt a press conference, knocked out doors in the premises, broke a costly acoustic conference system, ripped 5 microphones, torn shutters, soiled walls, chairs, central banner. Several Ukrinform employees were injured. One of the victims was diagnosed with eye trauma and multiple body injuries.
Another incident happened, when they fired a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) attack against the facade of the building of the TV channel “112 Ukraine”. No one was injured.
Thus, since the beginning of the year, IMI has recorded one murder case, 64 cases of obstruction, 22 cases of threats, 11 cases of beatings and 5 cases of censorship.
For more details as to press freedom condition, read the “Freedom of press barometer ” on IMI website.
The Institute of Mass Media holds monthly nationwide monitoring of freedom of the press in the following categories: physical aggression, censorship and access to information, economic and political pressure, legal pressure and cybercrime against the media and journalists. Only cases involving freedom of expression and professional journalistic activity are included in the monthly report. You can find more information about the methodology here .
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