“Enemies of press - 2016”: Poklonska, Shokin, Herashchenko, Akhmetov, and Firtash
The Institute of Mass Information and the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine named the people nominated in the annual anti-rating “Enemies of press”.
During the month of April, people working in mass media were nominating officials, who in the last year were violating the right to freedom of speech and were obstructing the journalists’ activities.
From the suggested nominees, the anti-rating of top 20 “Enemies of press” was formed – the officials who were violating the rights of journalists most often or in the most brutal manner.
Over thirty media experts were voting for the nominees anonymously. As a result of the experts' votes, the first place of the anti-rating was given to the head of the occupation prosecutor's office of Crimea – Natalia Poklonska, for systematic pressure and persecution of journalists in the occupied Crimea, opening criminal cases against Ukrainian journalists, ban to use words "Mejlis" and "Mejlis of Crimean Tatar People" in the media etc. The second place was awarded to the former General Prosecutor of Ukraine Viktor Shokin, who was nominated for systematic failure to act in investigating cases on attacks against journalists (including the beatings of journalists at Maidan). MP Anton Herashchenko, media owners Rinat Akhmetov, Dmytro Firtash, Serhiy Liovochkin all scored the same number of points: in fact, all these men hold the third position together. The tenth place is also shared by the officials of Vinnytska and Dnipropetrovska city councils.
The ten nominees included:
1. Nataliya Poklonska - head of occupation prosecutor's office of Crimea, for systematic pressure and persecution of journalists in the occupied Crimea, opening of criminal cases against Ukrainian journalists, ban on use of words "Mejlis" and "Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people" in the media, and other numerous violations of the freedom of press on the territory of Crimea.
2. Viktor Shokin, General Prosecutor of Ukraine (in 2015-2016), who was nominated to the anti-rating for his systematic failure to act in investigating the cases on assaults against journalists (including the beatings at Maidan).
3. Anton Herashchenko, MP from the faction "People's Front": for supporting the publication of the journalists’ personal data for allegedly "cooperating with terrorists", veiled calls for censorship in the media.
-. Rinat Akhmetov, owner of the media group "Ukraina": for censorship and commissioned materials in the mass media outlets of the holding he owns.
-. Dmytro Firtash and Serhiy Liovochkin, owners of the "Inter" TV channel: for turning the news service of the "Inter"TV channel into a PR service of the Opposition Bloc, commissioned materials in the interests of their owners, pro-Russian propaganda in the entertainment programs and series they broadcast.
4. Ihor Kolomoyskiy, owner of the media holding "1+1": for censorship and commissioned materials in the mass media outlets of the holding he owns.
5. Serhiy Kurchenko, owner of the media holding UMH: for censorship and commissioned materials in the mass media outlets of the holding he owns.
6. Vitaliy Bohdanov, head of the faction "Ukrop" in Kherson city council: for not admitting the journalists he disliked to the session of the city council using physical force.
7. Vitaliy Honcharov, acting head of the administration of the National Police of Ukraine in Mykolaivska oblast: for the law enforcement agency’s failure to act on the cases related to obstruction to journalists in Mykolaiv.
8. Ihor Palytsia, head of Volyn oblast council: for illegal searches of journalists during the session of the oblast council.
9. Kostiantyn Bryl, head of Zaporizka Oblast State Administration: for using mass media in his wars with his opponents, and for creation of information campaigns against mass media not loyal to him.
10. Iryna Yelizarova, head of the department of addresses of Vinnytsia city council and of its executive committee: for hiding the names of people who received money from the city budget in the published resolutions of the sessions and of the executive committee, giving as an excuse that their names are "confidential",
- Oleksander Sanzharov, vice city mayor of Dnipropetrovsk and head of the administration of the city council - for creating background conditions impeding access to information. The responses to mass media requests became even more formal, excessively bound by bureaucratic procedures; also they identify mass media requests for public information as "citizen requests" and delaying the dispatch of the requested information.