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Court in Kyiv still denied access for the press, despite the "green" level of quarantine

24.06.2021, 15:44

The Sviatoshynskyi District Court of Kyiv has issued an order "On the Implementation of Anti-Epidemic Measures", which restricts journalists' access to the hearings. The photo of the document was posted on Facebook by Watchers journalist Alina Kondratenko, whom the court guards refused to let inside.

According to Alina, the security guard asked if she had arranged a meeting, and the other went to ask the judge if she could come. In the end, the journalist got to the sitting. In a comment to IMI, she noted that that kind of obstacles were occurring constantly.

The order, dated April 2, 2021, said that from April 5 until the abolition of quarantine, a special regime of the court was introduced, according to which the admission to court hearings of persons who were not participants was restricted. Notice of this order is available on the website of the Sviatoshynskyi District Court .

It will be recalled that on June 16, 2021, the Cabinet of Ministers adopted Resolution # 611 , which amends the quarantine restrictions. The decree revoked the restriction on the quantity of people in the room.

"So, any restrictions on attending open to public meetings held by city councils, court hearings "since a number of seats is limited under quarantine "will be illegal. If face masks or respirators are used, the number of people in the room is not limited by quarantine requirements. Journalists have the right to freely pursue their professional activities, in particular to exercise the rights provided for in Article 25 of the Law of Ukraine "On Information " , - as IMI lawyer Ali Safarov explained (more of details are available in the story “Continuation of quarantine and work of journalists” ).

From January to April 2021, IMI experts recorded nine cases in Ukraine violations of journalists' rights by representatives of the judiciary.

On April 1, IMI filed a complaint with the High Council of Justice, the High Qualifications Commission of Judges, the Council of Judges of Ukraine, and the Supreme Court over the unlawful restriction of journalists' rights in the courts. The Institute of Mass Information has recorded repeated cases of journalists not being allowed to attend public hearings without proper legal grounds. This is especially true of high-profile cases, which are the subject of increased public interest. IMI called on the highest bodies of judicial self-government and supervision: to ensure the cessation of the practice of illegal selective non-admission of journalists to open court hearings; to bring judges who have committed illegal restrictions on the rights of journalists, violation of the requirements of publicity of the trial, to disciplinary or other legal liability provided by law.

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