First month of 2015: freedom of press improves in provinces, but not in Crimea — IMI
As the year began, the Institute of Mass Information registered decrease of violations of journalists' rights in Ukraine, and improvement of the situation with freedom of press. This is the data provided by monthly monitoring of the Institute of Mass Information «Freedom of Press Barometer».
In January of 2015, IMI experts registered 23 violations, of which 14 were physical aggression against journalists, 6 cases of political pressure, and 3 cases of censorship and violation of right to access information (for comparison: in December of 2014, there were 39 registered violations, in November — 31).
Journalists were attacked in Cherkasy, Chernihiv, Odesa and Kharkivska oblast, in Chernihivskka oblast and Lvivska oblast. In particular, in Lvivska oblast a deputy of Yavorivska Rayon Council attacked a journalist for video recording of the council session dedicated to budget, and in Chernihivska oblast a journalist was beaten by of his article's antagonist's grandson.
In Mykolaiv, the «Prestupnosti.NET» journalist and his cameraman were not allowed into the session hall by the head of Mykolaiv Oblast State Administration's press service Svitlana Hurmaza together with vice-head of OSA Oksana Yanishevska, when the session hall was used for the meeting of the head of the Mykolaiv State Administration Vadym Merikov and people's deputies (council members). As the reason for denying access, they said that the session was «classified», because they were to discuss the issues of mobilization. Yet, later it became known that in addition to mobilization, the deputies and the head of the Administration also discussed the issue of adopting the budget of Mykolaivska oblast for 2015.
At the same time, in January IMI registered return of pressure against the Crimean Tatar TV channel ATR by the occupational authorities of Crimea. For example, on January 26 in Simferopol the TV channel was surrounded by enforcers, who searched the building and confiscated the video archive server, and seized the employees' personal data. During an online broadcast, the channel anchor said that armed people arrived to confiscate the server that stores video materials of the events that took place a year ago - a large rally near the Crimean Parliament on January 26, 2014, of both pro-Russian forces who wanted to separate Crimea from Ukraine, and those who stepped up for integrity of Ukraine, the bulk of whom were Crimean Tatars.
The full list of violations registered in the Freedom of Press Barometer last month, is available at the link in Ukrainian.