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112 cases of violations of freedom of speech recorded in Ukraine in 1st half of 2020 - IMI

06.07.2020, 15:29

Over first six months in 2020, IMI experts recorded 112 cases of violations of freedom of speech in Ukraine. Of these, 86 cases concerned physical aggression against journalists. For comparison: during the same period last year, 116 cases of violations of freedom of speech were recorded, and also mostly it was physical aggression (88).

Such are the data of the monthly monitoring of the Institute of Mass Information "Barometer of Freedom of Speech".

Durong he first six months this year, the largest number of violations of freedom of speech was recorded in the following categories:

-obstruction to lawful journalistic activity : 61 cases (more than in the same period last year, when 56 obstruction facts were recorded);

-beatings : 13 cases (more than during the same period last year, when nine beatings were recorded);

-legal pressure : 11 cases (last year, eight cases of legal pressure were recorded for the same period);

-threats : 9 cases (less than during the same period last year, when 15 cases of threats were recorded).

In addition, since the beginning of the year, IMI has recorded seven cases of restriction of access to public information (for the same period last year,there were the same figures), four cases of cyberattacks (last year - six). IMI experts also recorded three cases of damage to journalists' property and indirect pressure, and one case of censorship.

According to the monitoring results, the right of journalists to the profession was mostly violated by private individuals, local authorities, law enforcement agencies, the judiciary, the President's Office and others.

The new thing this year, as IMI monitoring revealed, were violations of freedom of speech related to lockdown measures imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Thus, since the beginning of lockdown, the Institute of Mass Information has recorded 31 violations of freedom of speech related to lockdown. These cases mainly concerned the denial of access for journalists to local government sessions, as well as there were the attacks on journalists in the markets, hairdressers and shops as they tried toverify how they respected the lockdown restrictions. 

In total, violations of freedom of speech occurred in 19 regions of Ukraine. Traditionally, according to IMI monitoring, Kyiv and the region lead in terms of number of such violations (33 cases). The second place in terms of number of violations this year was taken by Dnipropetrovsk, Odesa and Kherson regions with 10 cases in each, and Poltava region took the third with nine cases.

Read more about the state of freedom of speech on the IMI website in the section " Barometer of freedom of speech ".

The Institute of Mass Information conducts monthly all-Ukrainian monitoring of freedom of speech 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 related to freedom of speech and professional journalism are included in the monthly report. You can read more about the methodology here .

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