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IMI handed list of violations of journalists’ rights to Prosecutor General

25.05.2021, 14:46

The Institute of Mass Information provided the Office of the Prosecutor General with a list of violations of journalists' rights for investigation and proposed to form a working group to achieve more progress of such investigations. The PGO has expressed its willingness to contribute to the investigations of the crimes against journalists.

Today, May 25, the GPO hosted a meeting of Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova with representatives of non-governmental organizations regarding criminal offenses committed against journalists.

The Head of the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine Stan Nørlov, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Rémi Duflot, representatives of NGOs "Institute of Mass Information", " Detector Media ", "Institute for Regional Press Development", "Human Rights Platform", and also journalists from UA:PBC, “Ukrayinska Pravda”, Radio Svoboda, Liga, Hromadske, NV, Censor.Net, Bigus.Info, etc. The meeting was organized by the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine, the EU Delegation and the Office of the Prosecutor General.

In particular, the list of cases of violations of journalists' rights was handed over to Iryna  Venediktova by the Executive Director of IMI Oksana Romanyuk. She also suggested that the Prosecutor General's Office sign a memorandum with media organizations on the proper protection of journalists' rights.

According to IMI, based on the figures from the replies to requests for information sent to the Prosecutor General’s Office, the number of proceedings that has been instituted and then closed got increased in 2020, compared to 2019, by almost 20%.

According to the IMI Director Oksana Romanyuk, the Prosecutor General's Office can contribute to fight with impunity. In particular, they could initiate a pre-trial investigation on their own will in cases where the police failed to react to complaints of committed offenses, charge investigators with undertaking some specific investigative actions or revoke the decisions issued by investigators to drop proceedings.

For their part, Iryna Venediktova and GPO officials expressed its willingness to do provide strong support to the investigation of crimes targeting the journalists.

Venediktov offered to hold working meetings with journalists every two or three months. 

It will be recalled that in 2020 IMI recorded 229 cases of violations of freedom of speech were recorded by IMI experts in Ukraine (as of December 28 ). Of these, 171 cases involved physical aggression against journalists. 

In the first quarter of 2021, IMI experts recorded 50 cases of violations of freedom of speech in Ukraine. Of these, 36 concerned physical aggression against journalists. .

In 2020, the law enforcers registered 249 criminal proceedings into crimes committed against media professionals. Of these 145 criminal proceedings were dropped. Of these, 16 charges were investigated and brought to the court.

In total, in 2019, the law enforcement officers identified 259 criminal offenses against media professionals. Of these, 102 were dropped. Of the total number of criminal offenses registered, 190 were opened under Art. 171 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, of which 84 were closed;

56 criminal proceedings under the article “Threat or violence against journalist”, of which 13 were closed;

10 criminal proceedings under the article “Deliberate destruction or damage to journalist's property”, of which four were closed.

Law enforcement agencies also registered three criminal proceedings under the article “Murderous attempt on life of journalist”, one of which was closed.

As IMI reported, in 2018, the law enforcement bodies brought to court 22 criminal cases concerning crimes committed against the journalists.

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