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August's major events of in sphere of freedom of press: death of journalist and steep increase in pressure on media outlets in Crimea — IMI

10.09.2014, 23:23

Major events in the sphere of freedom of press in Ukraine in August were the death of the Russian journalist Andriy Stenin, a steep growth in pressure on journalists and media outlets by the occupation authorities of Crimea, and DPR and LPR continuing to take journalists hostages.

This is data presented in the monthly monitoring of violations of journalists' rights by the Institute of Mass information's «Freedom of Press Barometer».

In particular, on August 5, near the town of Snizhne, Donetska oblast, the Russian RIA Novosti's news photographer Andriy Stenin died. The circumstances of his death call for thorough and unbiased investigation; as of now, it is known that he was in a car that got hit by a missile. The Ukrainian authorities currently have no access to the incident's site, as this territory is under «DPR»'s control. This is already the seventh death of a journalist on the territory of Ukraine in connection to their professional duties since the beginning of 2014.

In August of this year, in Crimea 9 instances of violations of freedom of press have been recorded. For comparison, in July one such violation has been recorded in this region, which indicates a steep growth in pressure on freedom of press by the occupation authorities in Crimea. In particular, the pressure was still exercised against the Chornomorska TV and Radio Company, «Center of Journalist Investigations», and the founder of the Crimean News Agency (QHA) Ismet Yuksel. The occupation authorities in Crimea have also began to block Ukrainian websites.

Among other violations, IMI experts have registered 8 instances in the category «beatings, attacks», as well as 8 instances of abductions and detentions of journalists in the East of Ukraine. In particular, the journalists of the TV channels «NTN», «Espresso.TV», and «112 Ukraina» were taken hostages by «DPR» and «LPR».

Overall, since the beginning of the year IMI has registered 7 instances of homicide of journalists on the territory of Ukraine, 265 instances of beatings and attacks against journalists, 119 facts of obstruction to journalists' lawful professional activities and 120 instances of censorship.

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