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Compared to previous elections, at voting stations of Ukraine half as much violations of freedom of press have been registered — IMI

27.05.2014, 13:59

During the presidential elections on May 25, at voting stations in Ukraine  seven cases of violation of freedom of press have been registered, which half as much as during the parliamentary elections of 2012 (18 cases). This is the data from the monitoring by the Institute of Mass Information. The IMI experts registered two cases of violations in Mykolayiv and in Dnipropetrovsk each, and one case in Lviv, Sumy, and Zakarpattia each. The violations were obstruction to journalists’ filming and prohibition to journalists to be present at voting stations.

According to the IMI executive director Oksana Romaniuk, the number of violations of freedom of press on the elections day was connected rather with the election process participants’ poor knowledge of laws and may prove absence of actual intentions to rig the voting or to hide information from the society. ‘This means that political forces were aware that the elections were under the society’s scrutiny. On the other hand, journalists also were better familiarized with their lawful rights and called police or territorial elections committees in case of violations,’ says Oksana Romaniuk.

On the elections day in Ukraine, a grave violation of freedom of press directly connected with the elections process was registered.  On May 25, in Luhansk region separatists took two journalists hostage – Viacheslav Bondarenko and Maksym Osovsky. They were detained on a checkpoint in the town of Shchastia near Luhansk. As of May 27, it is known that they are alive and are kept in the captured building of the regional office of the Security Service of Ukraine in Luhansk. 

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