(photo credits: InsideSource)
On April, IMI experts has recorded 14 violations of press freedom in Ukraine. Of these, 11 incidents were cases of physical aggression. These are findings of the monthly survey “Freedom of Press Barometer” issued by the Institute of Mass Information.
The main category of violations of journalists’ rights became incidents involving obstruction to lawful professional activity of journalists: 8 incidents (as a comparison, on March: 15 cases, on February : 11 cases, on January: 7).
In general, the experts of IMI documented violations in 9 regions of Ukraine. The regions which took leading position as to the number of violations were Kyiv and Dnipro, where we have documented 3 cases for each respectively. It follows by Odessa region with 2 cases and then we documented singular cases in Volyn region, Zhytomir region, Zaporizhzhya region, Lviv region, Rivne regin and Chernihiv region.
For the most part, authors of these assaults were private persons, law enforcement officers and local authorities.
On April, 2nd round of the presidential election was held. IMI’s experts observed that in general, the election was held in compliance with professional rights of journalists: only one incident of press freedom was identified. The incident occurred in Zaporizhzhya, where the police officer tried to prevent the journalist to take video at one of e to ban to a journalist for a web-based edition Depo.Zaporizhzhya to film at the electoral precinct #230958 in Dniprovsky district in Zaporizhzhya. The matter was closed after the police officer was told what was her error.
Besides it, on April, IMI documented one incident for each of the following categories of violations: one assault and battery (in Odessa an elected official from Oppositional block gave a kick to the face of editor in chief of “Megaphone” and correspondent for “Civil investigation” Bogdan Osynsky), threats ( in Odessa, some unknown person claimed the editorial office of “7 Channel” TV company was mined.), damaging of property of the journalist (in Dnipro some unknown person set fire to the car of the editor in chief of “Zorya” newspaper Volodymyr Pisotsky), searching (the editorial board of the web-portal Finance.ua claimed that the law enforcement bodies searched their office , they seized working computers, all servers), restriction of an access to public information (officials of Rivne municipal housing and utilities board denied to provide information to Viktoriya Maksymchuk, journalist for “4rth estate”) and lawsuit against the journalist (imposition upon Yuriy Butusov, editor in chief of “Censor.net”, to pay 357 thousands of hryvnias ($13 400) for moral damage for an untruthful information published on December 2018 n Facebook).
Thus, since beginning of the year IMI documented 41 facts of obstruction to professional activity of journalism, 10 facts of threats, 7 facts of restrictions to access to public information, 6 facts of cyber attacks, 4 facts of assaults and battery and one fact of censorship.
For more details, please read about the status of freedom of speech on the website of IMI in the section “Freedom of Speech Barometer”.
Institute of mass information conducts monthly nation-wide monitoring of freedom of speech in the following categories: aggression, censoriship and limitation of access to information, economic and political pressure, legal pressure, and cyber-crimes against mass media and journalists. The monthly report includes only cases related to freedom of speech and professional journalist activities. More details about the methodology can be found here.