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Activists: New rules of entry to Crimea cause information blockade

24.07.2015, 14:21

Civil activists and advocates insist on changing the rules of entry into Crimea that was developed by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine a month ago.

In particular, the Coordinator of Crimean Human Rights Field Mission Oleksandra Kyrylenko thinks that these new rules, in fact, set up "an informational blockade of Crimea". 

"To get the special permit to enter the peninsula, one needs to have one of the reasons listed in a quite narrow and closed list of valid reasons to receive such a permit. And this list does not include advocacy activities, journalism, or any reasons that could be used by an independent organization ", she said.

"Only private individuals may enter, those who have real estate or relatives there. This way, neither journalists, nor lawyers or advocates from other countries cannot get to Crimea in a legal fashion", Krylenkova explained.

This opinion is backed by Serhiy Kostynskyi, advisor for the Minister of Informational policy of Ukraine, who said that new rules prevent foreign journalists from entering Crimea. The Ministry wants to offer the Cabinet a number of amendments to the rules of entry.

The Border Guard Service of Ukraine, however, does not see any problems with journalists entering Crimea. According to their press secretary Oleh Slobodian, the journalists were not specifically mentioned in the rules as they were not included in the laws on Crimea as territory under occupation, however they still may enter on general basis. 

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