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25 violations of freedom of speech recorded by IMI since the beginning of lockdown

19.05.2020, 16:45

25 violations of freedom of speech related to the quarantine declared due to the coronavirus pandemic have been recorded by the Institute of Mass Information since March 12, 2020 (since the beginning of quarantine in Ukraine).

Thus, at the end of April and during May (as of May 18) IMI recorded four cases of these violations - in Dnipropetrovsk region, Chernivtsi region, Zaporizhia and Lviv.

In particular, these are the following violations:

On April 28, journalists with the online editions Behemot and Nash Pavlograd were not allowed to attend the session of the Pavlograd City Council (Dnipropetrovsk region), where they had to reallocate UAH 30 million of budget funds. Several journalists were not allowed to attend the sitting even when the police interferred. The security guards of the City Council explained the denial of access by the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, he failed to produce any orders or regulations on the basis of which journalists were not allowed to attend the plenary session.

On April 30, Archimandrite Mykita, Secretary of the Chernivtsi-Bukovyna Consistory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, addressed to the Security Service of Ukraine with a request to close the editorial office of the newspaper Young Bukovinian for total quarantine. This demand This complaint was due to the fact that on April 29 the website reprinted the report from the site Religiyna Pravda (Religious Truth), which, citing its own sources, said that the head of the Chernivtsi-Bukovynian Diocese of the UOC-MP Metropolitan Meletius and a number of clergy had pneumonia. In addition, the newspaper reported, that day Archimandrite Mykyta paid visit to the editorial office of Molodyy Bukovynets, "where, filming on video, he demonstratively coughed at the employees of the institution and behaved with insolence."

In Zaporizhzhya on May 7, an unidentified man attacked several TV crews with national TV channels. The journalists were filmimg a story about the violation of quarantine rules at “Bakhchisaray” market. The person followed journalists as soon as they entered the market territory and insulted them in coarse language. Then he attacked the operators and tried to tear their face masks off and damage the equipment. The journalists had to protect themselves and the equipment with a pepper spray.

In Lviv, the journalists with Pershy Zakhidny TV channel were got out from a hairdressing salon, they forbade them to film. The incident occurred on 13 May in the hairdressing salon "Glamor" on the Soborna square in Lviv. The journalist Ksenia Pavlyshyn and the cameraman Yuriy Kish were going to shoot a story on lockdown easing and on beauty salons and hairdressers resuming its work. The video, taken by journalists, showed the journalists entering the hairdresser shop and asking permission to film. But they were denied to take pictures: the hair studio employees shouted at them and rudely kicking them out of the room. One of the hairdresser's employees used strong language.

In general, most of violations were recorded in Kyiv and the region (five), four cases for each of regions: Kherson and Dnipropetrovsk, three cases in Lviv region, two cases in Chernivtsi region and one case in each of regions that follow: Khmelnytsky, Poltava, Odesa, Donbass, in Cherkasy, Mykolayiv and in Zaporizhzhya.

We will remind, on April 14 IMI reported about 15 cases of violations of freedom of speech related to quarantine.

As of April 21, the Institute of Mass Information had recorded 18 lockdown-related violations of freedom of expression.

On April 29, IMI reported 21 such cases since the restrictive measures came into force.

If your rights of professional journalist have been violated, please, contact our hotline by phone (050) 447 70 63 and write to [email protected].

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