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In August, IMI recorded 15 cases of violations of freedom of speech in Ukraine

06.09.2021, 15:47

In August, IMI experts recorded 15 cases of violations of freedom of speech in Ukraine. 11 of them concerned physical aggression against journalists. These are the figures of the monthly monitoring of the Institute of Mass Media “Barometer of Freedom of Speech” *.

Most violations we have recorded fell under the categories of "obstruction" (six) and "beating" (five).

Last august, five journalists were injured while exercing their professional activities. Three cases of beating of media workers occured in Kyiv during protests near the President's Office and on the Alley of Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred. In two cases, the journalists (journalist for Bukvy Oleksander Kuzhelny and TSN cameraman Anton Filipp ) were attacked by activists, and in one case, the journalist was attacked by police.(journalist for Apostrophe Roman Petushkov). 

Then, in Odessa, an unknown woman hit the correspondent of the edition "Zeleny Lyst" Yuri Dyachenko on the head with an iron object, as he was filming a beache. In Bukovyn region, a tenant of a land plot inflicted bodily injuries on a journalist of a news agency.

Among the obstruction to journalistic activity was denial of access for Watchers journalists to court hearings in the Pechersk and Darnytsia district courts of Kyiv. Court guards argued the denial of access was due to new restrictions because of high incidence of COVID, and demanded the written request. In Odessa, journalists for Odessa.live were forced out of the restaurant during its inspection. In Zhytomyr, a security guard attacked the journalist of the Anti-rating” journalistic investigation program, Oleksandr Kryzhanivsky, with his fists and threats. The prosecutor's office opened criminal proceedings for threatening journalists with violence (Part 1 of Article 345-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).

Pryamy TV was denied accreditation for meetings involving the President Volodymyr Zelensky and Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel on visit in Kyiv, and in Cherkasy region, a dictaphone was stolen from woman journalist at a session of the city council .

There were also two cases of economic pressure and one case of threats and restrictions on access to information.

Violations occurred in seven regions. The leader is Kyiv (eight cases), Odessa (two) and one case each in Zhytomyr, Rivne, Bukovyna, Zaporizhia and Cherkasy.

In July, 10 men journalists and five female journalists faced prejudice to their rights.

Thus, since the beginning of the year, IMI has recorded a total of 126 cases of violations of freedom of speech, 65 cases of obstruction, 17 beatings, 12 threats and 11 restrictions on access to information.

Read more about the state of freedom of speech on the IMI website in the "Freedom of Speech Barometer" section .

The Institute of Mass Information conducts monthly all-Ukrainian monitoring of freedom of speech in the following categories: physical aggression, censorship and access to information, economic and political pressure, legal pressure and cybercrime against the media and journalists. Only cases related to freedom of speech and professional journalism are included in the monthly report. More of details on the methodology are available here.

This study was made possible by the support of the American people through the USAID Media Program in Ukraine project, run by the international organization Internews Network in partnership with the international organization Freedom House. The content is uner the sole responsibility of the Institute for Mass Information and does not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, the US Government or the Internews Network.

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