18 facts of freedom of speech violations registered in November – IMI
In November, IMI has registered 18 incidents of the violations of the freedom of speech in 8 regions of Ukraine. 14 among them were the incidents of a physical assault against the journalists. Such are the conclusions of a monthly monitoring fulfilled by IMI, "Freedom of Press Barometer". The majority of violations are “obstruction to lawful journalistic activity” : 9 (to compare: in October : 8 cases, in September : 5, in August: 4). The functionaries of local and central government bodies put obstacles to the press: to take pictures, they made attempt to drive them out of sittings, unknown persons seized camera, spilled kefir on, banned the journalists to film, spitted onto the journalist’s face. A less quantity were threats to the journalists: 4 incidents, which number was twice higher than in October. The most of cases, as usually, have been recorded in Kyiv (8 cases), 2 cases in Dnipropetrovsk region, and Poltava region and one case in each of regions: of Lviv Sumy, Volyn, Kharkiv and Chernivtsi. The right of journalists to fulfill their profession has been violated by private persons and representatives of local and central authorities. Two facts of juridical pressure onto the press and bans to access to the information have been fixed in November and one fact of beating of the journalist. ІМІ draws a particular attention towards the legislative initiative of three MPs from Petro Poroshenko's Bloc who on 20th of November filed a project of law on criminalization of defamation. In opinion of IMI experts, this project of law could be evaluated as an attempt against the press freedom and pressure onto the journalists. In such a way, the authors of this bill wished to defend themselves from criticism of the mass media. Thus, from beginning of this year, IMI has fixed 89 facts of obstruction to the lawful activity of journalists, 31 facts of threats, 29 facts of beatings of journalists, 17 facts of restriction of access to information and 14 cyber attacks. More detailed information is available in column “Freedom of Press Barometer”.
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