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Ahead of election pressure onto civil space and fundamental freedoms increased – UN report

13.03.2019, 16:11
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) issued a special report on the issues of civic space and fundamental freedoms in Ukraine ahead of the presidential and parliamentary election, as to Deutsche Welle. The survey was held since January 1st, 2018 to February 15th, 2019 and “during the reporting period, OHCHR documented 164 violations and identified a set of concerns regarding restrictions to civic space, including failure of the authorities to ensure security for peaceful assemblies and inability to protect groups at risk, lack of investigation and accountability for perpetrators, and attempts to limit civic space by means of shaping the regulatory framework”. “OHCHR notes a lack of accountability in most of the documented cases of attacks against journalists and other media professionals, civic and political activists and defence lawyers”. Throuthough the reporting period, OHCHR observed a gradual increase of attacks against the journalists, including incidents perpetrated in front of cameras during the broadcasting. Investigation often failed to accurately classify these attacks under applicable law, disregarding the perpetrators’ motive to disrupt or prevent journalists’ activities”. The report mentioned the murder on July 31st 2018 of Kateryna Gandzyuk, senior staff of city council, known for her anticorruption views, was attacked with acid, attacks against journalists of NewsOne and legal representatives of the journalist Vasyl Muravytsky. “These attacks created an athmosphere of intimidation, which has a chilling effect on people’s ability and willingness to speak openly on issues of public importance, notably to express their disagreement or concernes about policies, the UN report said. In conclusion, thereport said” States should protect cicl society actors, including human rights defenders and journalists, in particular, fromall threats, attacks, reprisals and acts of intimidation, against them or their family members, associates and legal representatives”. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
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