In six months of 2018, IMI experts registered in Ukraine, in total, 126 cases of violations of freedom of speech, which took place in 21 oblasts of the country. In the same period of 2017 , there were fewer such registered cases (121). These are the results of the monthly monitoring by the Institute of Mass Information “Freedom of speech barometer”.
The three most frequent violations in the period were obstruction to journalist activities, beatings, and threats to journalists. This year, IMI experts register increase of the number of cases of obstruction and beating compared to the same period of the previous year.
The largest number of violations in the first half of 2018 was registered by IMI experts in the category “obstruction to professional activities of journalists” – 56 (in the same period of 2017 – 44 cases).
The second most frequent category of violations was “beatings and assaults” – 15, while in 2017 this category was only on the fourth place, with 10 cases in the half-year period.
Threats were the third most frequent violation – 13 cases (in the same period of the previous year, threats were also third, with 15 registered cases).
At the same time, since the beginning of the year IMI registered decrease of cases of obstruction of access to public information. In half a year, IMI experts registered 9 such cases. This category was on the fourth place this year, and in the same period of 2017, the category was on the second place, with 17 registered cases.
The top region by violations of journalists’ rights since the beginning of the year is still Kyiv, together with its oblast (57 cases).
The next region with most cases is Mykolaiv region (8 cases), and four regions with 5 cases (Odeska oblast, Volyn, Dnipropetrovska oblast and Donetska oblast). In other regions, there were four, three, two cases, and there are two regions with one registered case in each.
Mostly, according to the monitoring, the rights of journalists were violated by private individuals, law enforcement officers, local authorities and local representatives (deputies). This tendency remains unchanged since last year.
More details about the status of freedom of speech can be found on the IMI website “Freedom of speech barometer”.
The Institute of Mass Information conducts a 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 cyber-crimes against mass media and journalists. The monthly report includes only cases related to freedom of press and professional journalism. More details about methodology can be found here.