IMI monitoring: in September, the number of violations was greater than in any previous month of this year - 40 cases
In September, the total number of registered violations of freedom of press and journalists' rights in Ukraine was 40 cases. This is the largest number of registered monthly violations since the beginning of the year (January - 15 case, February – 21, March – 16, April - 26, May - 24, June - 20, July - 28 , August - 23). Of these violations, 18 cases are physical aggression against journalists. This data is provided by the monthly monitoring of the Institute of Mass Information “Freedom of Press Barometer”. According to the data of the IMI monitoring, the largest number of violations of journalists' rights was registered by IMI experts in September in the category “obstruction to lawful journalist activities” – 10 cases. The number of cases of obstruction grew by almost two times compared to August (August - 6 cases). The mentioned category remains the most common type of violation of freedom of press since the beginning of 2017. In September, the top three violations of freedom of press were, except obstructions, limiting access to information (8 cases), threats and intimidation of journalists (5 cases). In general, in September IMI registered violations of freedom of press and journalists' rights in 16 oblasts of Ukraine. In particular, the regions with most such violations this month were Kyiv together with its oblast (10 cases), Volyn (6 cases), Zaporizhzhia (4 cases) and Vinnytsia and Poltava regions (3 cases each). “In September, with the commencement of the political season, the number of threats and intimidations of journalists increased. In particular, this month, 5 cases were registered of just psychological pressure against journalists”, executive director of IMI Oksana Romaniuk said. According to her, IMI prepared a monthly selection of freedom of speech violations, and prepares a separate selection of cases that took place this year, which will be filed for consideration of law enforcement agencies, to improve and expedite investigation of “journalist cases”. We have the same number of registered cases of beatings in September as in August - 3 cases. In particular, one of these cases is attack against the filming crew of the journalist investigations program “Skhemy” - journalist Mykhailo Tkach and camera operator Borys Trotsenko. As a result of the attack, Borys Trotsenko sustained brain concussion and had his hand injured. IMI also registered 4 cases of court claims against mass media, and the same number of cases of financial pressure. In particular, one of the latter is reluctance of authorities to finances JSC “National public TV and Radio company of Ukraine” and to comply with the requirements of the law. In addition, IMI registered 2 cases of cyber attacks against the e-mail boxes of journalists in Volynska and Rivnenska oblasts. Also, IMI experts registered 1 case of each: indirect, political and legal pressure, and also, one case of court claims by journalists. Thus, since the beginning of the year, IMI registered 21 case of beatings of journalists, 5 cases of censorship, 64 cases of obstruction, 31 – limitation of access to information, and 26 cases of threats. Please find more details about freedom of press status on the IMI website in section “Freedom of press barometer”. Institute of mass information conducts monthly all-Ukrainian freedom of press monitoring in the following categories: physical aggression, censorship and access to information, economic and political pressure, legal pressure and cyber-crimes against mass media and journalists. The monthly report includes only cases related to freedom of press and professional journalist activities. More details about methodology can be found here.
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