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In December IMI recorded 13 cases of violations of freedom of speech in Ukraine

30.12.2021, 20:52

In December, IMI experts recorded 13 cases of violations of journalists' rights in Ukraine (as of December 29). 10 cases were facts of physical aggression against journalists.

These are the data of the monthly monitoring of the Institute of Mass Information "Freedom of Speech Barometer"*.

This month, journalists encountered mostly obstructions (six cases), and twice the attackers damaged journalists' property. IMI also recorded two cases of restricting access to information and one case each for attacks, threats and cybercrime.

For example, journalists were not allowed into the courtroom (ICTV journalists were not allowed into the courtroom in Shepetivka), local authorities held closed door for journalists to sittings of commission (in Kherson) and banned them the presence to the meeting ainming to elect the hospital director (as in Ostroh). Beyond that, in Mykolaiv, local councillors tried to interrupt the live broadcasting of the Nash TV channel, and in Odessa participants of road accident attacked the TV crew of the 7th channel.

In December, the journalist's cars were damaged ( two cars were arsonned in Uzhhorod on the side of local journalist Pavel Biletsky ) and the window was smashed in the apartment of local TIM TV journalist Kateryna Marchenko in Pryluky. Journalists attributed the attacks to their professional activities. In the case of arson, the Transcarpathian police requalified the case, probing now in an intentional damaging of property of the journalist by arson). And later she served suspicition note to presumed arsonist.

The journalist of the talk show about Ukrainian football "So-so" (To Take) Andriy Senkiv claimed to be threatened by the football player Yevhen Seleznyov after the journalist revealed  the player’s misconduct (program #269) and the general atmosphere and discipline in "Minai" football club (program #271). 

The online publication Detector Media was hacked on December 1. "The offender, having gained access to the site's administrator panel, replaced the publication of the November 29 with an illiterate text, which is a "smear campaign" about Rinat Akhmetov and Volodymyr Zelensky," the DM said.

Violations occurred in 10 regions in Ukraine. Three cases were recorded in Kyiv and two in Odesa. In other regions had one case each: in Mykolayiv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kherson, Zakarpattia, Rivne, Khmelnytsky, Poltava and Chernihiv regions.

The rights of journalists were violated by private individuals, local and judicial authorities.

Thus, since the beginning of the year, IMI has recorded 197 cases of violations of freedom of speech, 99 cases of obstruction, 24 beatings, 18 cases of restricted access, 16 cases of cybercrime, 13 threats and eight cases of censorship.

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. You can read more about the methodology here.

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

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