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Freedom of speech Barometr for May, 2012

07.06.2012, 03:58

In May a significant increase in cases of journalists’ rights violation was fixed. A number of cases of obstruction to journalists’ activities two times increased in comparison with the previous month and now there are 15 cases. It is more than previous month in 2012 altogether.

The most resonant cases are those of threatening to Mustafa Naem, a journalist of Ukrainska Pravda, which he associates with his article about Tabachnyk and abuse of Nataliia Rozynska, which she associates with Major Melnychenko (Gongadze’s Case). 

The number of censorship cases is also growing. ІМІ experts associate it with the coming of elections to the Parliament. Thus, UNIAN editorial Board claimed of it. On May 12, Mykola Kondratenko, a Deputy Editor-in-chief, made a decision to remove from the site information under the title Akhmetov Banned to Enter the Party of Regions at his Enterprises.

Quantitative markers

Gongade’s Case

Pukach ordered to get rid of documents of operational monitoring of Gongadze

Pechersk District Court in Kyiv started interrogation of the fourth witness in the criminal case against Oleksiy Puckach, who is accused in murdering of Georgiy Gongadze, a journalist.

Arrests and Detentions -1

Police apprehended and assaulted journalists that came to the Court in Zaporozhets’s Case

30.05.12. In Brovary, during the hearing of Vitalii Zaporozhets’s Case there was a scramble between police and the protesters and, as a result, mass arrests occurred, e.g. some journalists were apprehended and assaulted (a journalist of Channel 5 had his leg injured and a journalist of Svidomo was arrested).

Assault, Attacks and Intimidations - 6

1.      Unknown offender broke a camera of a cameraman of during his work

04.05.12. In Kyiv unknown offender assaulted Vitalii Lazebnyk, a cameraman of, during his professional activities. Lazebnyk was shooting the demolition of illegal construction of the church in Peremoha Park in Darnytsia.

·         Police doesn’t consider an assaulted cameraman of to be a rep of Media

· identified the offender and it was a Director of Peremoha Park

·         In Kyiv the journalists are picketing near the Ministry of Internal Affairs demanding to open a criminal case about assaulting of a cameraman

·         For a fact of assault of cameraman a case on hooliganism was opened

2.      Two unknown offenders assaulted Rozynska

16.05.12. Nataliia Rozynska, a TV presenter of Pershy Natsionalny, was assaulted near her house.

·         For a fact of assault of Rozynska militia opened a criminal case

·         Militia investigates 4 versions of the assault.

3.   In Lviv region a criminal case against a Head of Village Council, who damaged a journalist’s camera, was opened

22.05.12 A Head of Sokilnyk Village Council in Pustomyitivsky district, Lviv Region, damaged a camera of journalists from Lviv Region State Television and Radio Company. The Prosecution opened a criminal case according to paragraph 1 Art. 171 CC of Ukraine Obstruction to Professional Activities of Journalists.

4. Mustafa Naem claims about threatening because of his article about Tabachnyk and Prysiazhniuk

24.05.12. Mustafa Naem, a journalist of Ukrainska Pravda, claims that he got a letter with threatening, which he associates with his last publication Yan Tabachnyk and Anatoliy Prysiazhniuk Protect a Corrupt.

·          A letter with threatening to Mustafa Naem was sent from sports forum

5. Unknown offender assaulted a journalist during the elections in Sofiivska Borshchahivka

27.05.12. During special elections of a Head and deputies of Sofiivska Borshchahivka Village Council in №13067 polling station unknown offender assaulted Ivan Lysenko, a journalist of information agency Pravutsia, who was shooting the election process.

6. A Participant of X-Factor tried to drown a journalist of Novy Channel

Oleksandr Kryvoshapko, a participant of TV-show X_Factor, pushed Philip Churchheladze, a journalist of Novy Channel, into a swimming pool.

The incident happened during a party, devoted to opening of beach season in Kyiv. Kryvoshapko pushed a journalist of Pirania program in front of everyone.

New Facts about Assaults, Attacks and Intimidations

1. Offenders of a journalist from Mykolaiv were sentenced to from 5 to 11 years of imprisonment 

12.05.12. Offenders of Oleksandr Vlashchenko, a journalist of Nashe Misto Mykolaiv newspaper and Novosti N Internet publication, were sentenced to from 5 to 11 years of imprisonment. Such decision was made on May, 11, by Leninsky Court of Mykolaiv.

2. The Prosecution opened a case as to assaulting of an ICTV journalist

04.05.12. The Prosecution of Pechersk District Court in Kyiv opened a criminal case about a conflict between Tetiana Tretiak, an ICTV journalist, and Oleksandr Kazhyian, a PR manager of publicity agency Secret Service, which happened on March, 16, 2012 in Crystal Hall club in Kyiv.

3. A man, who took part in the assault of Donetsk journalists, will pay a fine of only 51 hrn

17.05.12. A man, who took part in the assault of Matsuka, Syzov, Tkachenko, Ovcharenko, the journalists from Donetsk, on January, 29, 2012, during the March of Heroes, was fined (51 hrn) according to the administrative protocol (Art. 173 Code of Ukraine about Administrative Offences (disorderly conduct).

4. Ex-Vice Mayer of Odesa, who assaulted a journalist and caused a fire-fight, was pleaded guilty and was immediately pardoned

On May, 28, 2012 Mykolaivsky District Court pleaded guilty Vahtang Ubiriya, an Ex-Vice Mayer of Odesa, according to Art. 171 CC of Ukraine (Obstruction to Professional Activities of Journalists).

On June, 11, 2011, Ubiriya assaulted a TV reporter of Odesa TRC Grad and also threatened other journalists with a pistol, shooting into the air and swearing. The incident happened at the dump Dilnytski Cariery near Odesa.

Obstruction to Professional Activities and Censorship - 15

1.      Symonenko’s guards caused obstruction to journalist activities on May, 1

01.05.12 In Kyiv, during celebrations at Maidan Nezalezhnosti, the guards of Petro Symonenko, a Deputy and a leader of Communist Party, without any reason didn’t allow the journalist to go to the place reserved for their work.  

2.      Ministers of Kyiv-Pechersk Laura took away a camera from a cameraman of TRC Brody and deleted a record

01.05.12. On the territory of Kyiv-Pechersk Laura an unknown man in robe together with a guard of the monastery prevent Roman Kushnirenko, a cameraman of TRC Brody, from recording a Service and then took a camera by force.

3.      Police didn’t allow the journalists to enter the Administration of Yanukovych to pass info about violation of Law About Access to Informationї

08.05.12. The conflict between journalists and militia happened during the protest when the journalists tried to go to Bankova St.

·         In Bankova St. they said that it were employees of State Security who didn’t allow the journalists to go to the Administration

4.      The journalists were pitched out of the hospital, where Tymoshenko was brought

09.05.12. Journalists of central and local Media were pitched out of the territory of Ukrzaliznytsia hospital in Kharkiv, where Yulia Tymoshenko, a sentenced Ex-Prime Minister of Ukraine, was brought.

5.      Pershy Nationalny Channel refused to transmit Forum of the Opposition, even for thr money

11.05.12. The management of Pershy Nationalny Channel of Ukraine refused to transmit live Forum of the United Opposition that took place on May, 12 on Mykhaylivska Square.

6.      Donetsk journalist was warned not to film Yanukovych otherwise he might be killed by sniper

14.05.12. Unknown people caused obstruction to a journalist of the Internet publication Novosti Donbasa to make pictures and videos near the Shakhter Plaza hotel in Donetsk, when Yanukovych, the President, was there.

7.      Employees of UNIAN demands to reinstate Kharchenko and claims about censorship

17.05.12. UNIAN stuff considers dismissal of Oleksandr Kharchenko, an editor-in-chief, illegal and claims about features of censorship on the site.

«On May, 12, Mykola Kondratenko, a Deputy Editor-in-chief of the UNIAN site, who is now introduced as a Head of UNIAN Internet projects Department, gave a directive to remove from the site information that Akhmetov Banned to Enter the Party of Regions at his Enterprises. This action is regarded as censorship”, –  mentioned in the statement.

·         Kharchenko is temporarily reinstated on the position of an editor-in-chief of UNIAN

·         Kharchenko is appointed a President of UNIAN

·         Kharchenko quitted UNIAN

8.      In Poltava the deputies of City Council didn’t allow a journalist to be present at the meeting

16.05.12. The deputies of the City Council in Poltava didn’t allow the journalist of the Internet publication Kolo to be present at the meeting.

9.      Yatseniuk claims that he is denied participation in programs at Inter Channel

17.05.12. Press service of Front Zmin Party claims that the program Velyka Polityka z Eugeniem Karasiovym (Inter  Channel) denied participation of Arseniy Yatseniuk, a Leader of the party, on the eve of the program.

Managers of Vellyka Polityka sent sms message about cancellation of the program with Yayseniuk participation.

10.  Crimean TV channel ATR wasn’t allowed to transmit live the memorial service of Tatars

17.05.12. The first Crimean-Tatar channel ATR won’t transmit live the memorial service on the Deportation Day (May, 18). The stuff of the channel think that they might be closed at all.

11.  The news about transfer of budgetary organizations to Firtash’s bank was removed from the site of Ternopil District State Administration

Moderators of Ternopil District State Administration site removed information about the meeting, chaired by V.Devjatkov, the First Deputy of the DSA Head, as to transfer of budgetary organizations to Firtash’s bank Nadra for service.

12.  In Kyiv region electoral commission didn’t allow the journalists to be present at their meeting

18.05.12. Olha Haharina, a journalist of informational and analytical weekly Hromadsky aahyst Kyivshchyny, wasn’t allowed to be present at the meeting of the electoral commission by the decision of the commission on the elections of a Head in Svitylna Village Council (Brovary District, Kyiv region).

       13. Dorohniy Control claims about censorship on Inter and 1+1 channels

28.05.12. Internet publication Dorohniy Control (DC) clams that Inter channel got a directive not to show DC in the news and other programs. This information was revealed by the channel stuff. “The censorship is associated with the fact that DC actively discredits Kobra (Special Forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs) and it can lead to negative public attitude to the authorities”, - said in DC.

       14. Journalist of Euro-Patrul wasn’t accredited because he represented non-official publication

28.05.12. Journalist of Euro-Patrul site was denied access to Euro-2012 event. Without any explanations a journalist wasn’t accredited for the official opening of new terminal D at Boryspil Airport.

     15. Journalist of Ukrainska Pravda wasn’t accredited

28.05.12. Iryna Slavinska, a literary observer of the Internet publication Ukrainska Pravda, wast accredited for the awarding ceremony Koronatsia Sliva.

New Facts about Obstruction to Professional Activities and Censorship

Efremov explained that journalists weren’t allowed to enter Verhovna Rada because of obscene language of a rep of the Opposition

14.05.12. Oleksandr Efremov, a Leader of the Region Party Fraction, explained that it was misunderstanding, when the journalists weren’t allowed to enter Verhovna Rada last week.

Osadchy explained  the dismissal of Kharchenko by negative results of UNIAN

16.05.12. Vadym Osadchy, General Manager of UNIAN, explained that dismissal of Kharchenko from a position of an editor-in-chief happened because of the negative economic results of the agency during the last period.

Economic, Political and Indirect Pressure - 5

1.      The Prosecution prohibited a newspaper of Kremenchuk City Council to be published in Russian

01.05.12 Kremenchul Prosecution (Poltava region) revealed the violation of the law by Visnuyk Kremenchka, when they made a decision to publish the newspaper in Russian.  

2.      Benkendorf removed Roynska during the investigation of the incident with road inspectors

07.05.12. National TV Company of Ukraine removed Nataliia Rozynska, a presenter of Pershy Nationalny channel, from her work during the investigation of the incident that happened to Rozynska and road inspectors on May, 2.  

Deputy Editor of Zahidny Donbas went on hunger strike because Pavlograd City Council stopped financial support

10.05.12. Mykola Voloshyn, a Deputy Editor of Zahidny Donbas newspaper, went on open-ended hungry strike because of financial problems of his newspaper by Pavlograd City Council.

3.      Prosecution is trying to find Usov

16.05.12. Kostiantyn Usov, an author of scandal film about prison on Lukjanivsk, was called to interrogations and TVi was asked to inform about the location of the journalist.  

·         Prosecution states that they are interested in Usov only as a key witness

·         Prosecution wants to know how Usov passed a mobile to the prison

       4.  In Slovjansk a newspaper of the Opposition claims about pressure of Mayer and police. The stuff of Panorama Tyzhnia (Slavjansk, Donetsk region) says about pressure of Nelia Shtepa, a Mayer, and local police.

      5.   Journalist was fired from Chernivtsi Regional State Television and Radio Company because of Firtash’s greenhouses

Roman Marenin, a journalist, under the pressure wrote an application for dismissal from Chernivtsi Region State Television and Radio Company. He said that the conflict was caused by the desire to protect his garden in village Synkiv in Ternopil Region, where Dmytro Firtash, an oligarch, is building his greenhouse industry.

Court Claims to Media and Journalists -1

1. Editor of Express newspaper is being sued

Corporation KRT sues Ihor Pasichnyk, an editor of Express newspaper, about protection of business reputation. They ask to «recognize the information in Express newspaper on17.05.2012-24.05.2012 №52 (6348) on p.1 and p.6 under the title How to Launder a Billion by I.Pochynka not true and not valid and such as humiliates business reputation».

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