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Progress in investigations into crimes against journalists in the 3rd quarter of 2021

25.10.2021, 12:25

Another seven cases of violations of journalists' rights have been instituted in the third quarter of this year, these are the investigations under the "journalistic articles" of the Criminal Code (171, 345-1 and 347-1). In addition, two cases are probed for alleged violations of journalists' rights, but they are registered under other articles of the Criminal Code. 

The Institute of Mass Information received this information from the Department of Public Interests and State Protection of the National Police in reply to a monthly collection of cases from the Freedom of Speech Barometer within the framework of cooperation between IMI and DPISP aiming to  stop impunity for attacks on journalists. 

It will be recalled that, according to the Code of Criminal Procedure, the opening of proceedings under a "journalistic article" does not automatically mean that the victim was a journalist at the time of the incident. Also, proceedings under other articles of the Criminal Code might be reclassified as "journalistic articles" during the further course of the investigation.

From last July to September, law enforcement agencies opened proceedings on the following cases that occurred during this period:

-report on tel. 102 on denial of access to Igor Rudych (Ukrpress.info news agency) to the Kyiv Commercial Court; 

-injury of S. Faizulin during the dismantling of billboards in the Dnieper (under Part 2 of Article 345-1 and Part 1 of Article 28, Part 1 of Article 171 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine);

-throwing bottles with flammable mixture in the yard of a journalist in Kharkiv region (under Part 1 of Article 345-1 of the Criminal Code);

-a report on the seizure of a mobile phone from Valery Gurkivsky, a journalist with the Narodny Kontrol newspaper, who was filming the repair of a railway track in the Kherson region (under Part 1 of Article 171 of the Criminal Code);

-report on threats via Facebook to Marina Savchenko (Novy Den newspaper) in the Kherson region after her publication about the accident (under Part 1 of Article 345-1 of the Criminal Code);

damage to the car of journalist O. Sukach in Novohrad-Volynskyi (under Part 1 of Article 347-1 of the Criminal Code).

One proceeding was sent to the court - concerning the traumatism infliucted to I. Hutnyk during the dismantling of billboards in Dnipro (under Part 2 of Article 345-1 and Part 1 of Article 28, Part 1 of Article 171 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).

Such proceedings are investigated under non-journalistic articles

statement about the beating of the special correspondent of the information agency "Unified Legal Aid Service" Gennady Fimin near the village of Nemishayevo, Kyiv region (Article 125 of the Criminal Code - bodily injuries);

attack on Oleksandr Kuzhelny near the Kyiv Administrative Court of Appeal (Article 296 of the Criminal Code - "Hooliganism", an indictment was drawn up on August 31, 2021).

At the same time, law enforcement officers closed one case - on cyberbullying of Nizhyn journalist Yana Khmelyuk (it was registered under Part 1 of Article 171 of the Criminal Code, closed under Paragraph 2 of Part 1 of Article 284 of the CPC - no criminal offense, September 2, 2021).

In a number of other cases, in most of which IMI sent information to law enforcement, no proceedings were opened due to the lack of statements from potential victims. We are talking about:

-denial od access of journalists to the Pechersk District Court of Kyiv; 

-threats to Pavel Terentyev (IV "Letters");

-incident and with Roman Pyetushkovym Bankova; 

-report by Mariana Sych about a strange interest in her person on the part of the participants in her journalistic investigation.

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