Election campaign proceeds with violations of freedom of press - IMI expert
In September and October, IMI registered in Ukraine 26 cases of journalists' rights violations related to the election campaign period. This was the information shared by IMI expert Kateryna Diachuk at the round table "Violation of election laws: situation in Kyiv and in the oblast”, organized by the civil network OPORA.
According to the expert, 19 cases of violations were registered in September, and 7 – in October, in particular, in the categories of impediment, assaults, access to information, and threats.
In September, the number of impediment cases was the greatest – 14, and also 1 assault and 4 cases of restricting access to information.
“Of these 14 cases of impediment, 9 are related to restricting access of press to party conferences, where nomination of candidates was conducted, in 5 cases chairs and members of committees were restricting access for mass media representatives to their sessions or the room of the committee," Diachuk informed.
The regions, where the rights of press were most frequently violated, were Ternopilska oblast, Zaporizka oblast, Mykolaiv, and Volyn.
The expert separately spoke on the selective access of journalists to information during the party conferences, where on consideration of some issues, press was driven out of the room (Giving as an example of such conduct a case with the "Svoboda" party convention.
In October, which has not ended yet, IMI registered violation of journalist's rights mostly in the category "impediment" – 5 cases, one case of assault, and one case of threats. The region that is leading by the number of violations was Donetska oblast, where journalists were not allowed to be present at election committees' sessions.
For comparison, the IMI statistics on violations during the Parliamentary elections on October 26, 2014, was 9 cases of violations related to the process of elections, and at the parliamentary elections of 2012, there were 18 violations.
At the Presidential elections on May 25, 2014, IMI registered 7 violations of the freedom of press.