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Bihus.Info surveillance: Freedom of Speech Committee to file a request with the SBU

17.01.2024, 12:39

The Verkhovna Rada Committee on Freedom of Speech will soon file a request with the Security Service of Ukraine to identify the persons involved in the surveillance of Bihus.Info journalists. The Committee's chairman, "Holos" deputy Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, announced this on Radio Liberty (the "Svoboda.Ranok" project).

"It's definitely interference, it's definitely pressure, it's definitely unlawful activity. But as to the perpetrators – those are for the law enforcement to identify. Otherwise, the already prevalent suspicion that the law enforcement was behind it all, acting in the interests pf some official, will essentially be confirmed. The silence of the Security Service of Ukraine, without whose authorization such recordings could not be made, the National Police, the Prosecutor General's Office, is a rather poor look for them," he said.

Yurchyshyn also noted that the case of alleged drug use should be separated from the fact of spying on journalists.

"This is clearly a separate matter. Neither a journalist's credentials, nor a deputy's mandate, nor a prosecutor's mandate, nor the status of a judge allows one to break the law. But proof of the violation must also be obtained within the law," the deputy noted.

The Committee will hold a meeting on the systematic violations of journalists' professional rights, which have manifested in a series of recent events: the attack on Mykhailo Tkach, the preclusion of a journalist's work in Mykolaiv, and the provocation targeting the investigator Yury Nikolov, says Yurchyshyn. In view of the latest incident, the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Freedom of Speech has already contacted the Prosecutor General's Office with a request to open proceedings.

As the IMI reported, on January 16, the head of the Bihus.Info project, Denys Bihus, recorded a statement in response to a provocative video shared on YouTube by the website "Narodna Pravda", wherein his employees negotiate the purchase of drugs and use them, and reported unlawful surveillance and wiretapping. He also announced staff changes.

The director of the Institute of Mass Information, Oksana Romaniuk, demands that the authorities address systematic pressure on journalists. She said this while commenting on the pressure on journalist Yuriy Nikolov, whose apartment suffered a break-in attempt by unknown men, and the Bihus.Info team.

The Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Freedom of Speech, Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, has also said that expects the police to respond to the attacks on the Bihus.Info team and the journalist Yuriy Nikolov.

The phones of the Bihus.Info team were wiretapped for several months, according to Denys Bihus. The leaked phone conversation recordings point to this. These conversations happened some time apart.

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