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In January Zaporizhzhya became leader in press freedom violations in Ukraine – IMI

03.02.2021, 14:37

In January, the IMI experts recorded 12 cases of violations of freedom of speech in Ukraine, five of which occurred in Zaporizhia. 

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

The highest number of violations was recorded in the category of “interference with professional journalism” : eight. One case was reported in each of the categories of “beating”, “restriction of access to information”, “political pressure” and “cybercrime”.

Violations occurred in six regions of Ukraine. Zaporizhzhya became the leader in January: there were five cases of violations of journalists' rights, followed by Khmelnytsky region with three cases. One case was recorded in Volyn, Odesa, Sumy and Vinnytsia regions.

The right of journalists to exercise profession was violated mainly by local authorities, security police and the judiciary.

January was "marked" by mass non-admission of journalists at the City Council session. In particular, for the second month in a row, Zaporizhzhya is leading in the number of such denial of access. In despair, the journalists have picketed the city council building, as they were once again unable to attend its session. Also, when trying to get in the journalists and the police hustled, during wich the editor of the edition "Nenachasi" Ekateryna Mayboroda was harmed.  

After that, more than 20 journalists from Zaporizhzhya addressed an open lettrer to President Volodymyr Zelensky, Prime Minister Shmyhal, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, Minister of Culture and Information Policy Oleksandr Tkachenko, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Freedom of Speech Nestor Shufrych, Ombudsperson Ludmyla Denisova with a request to intervene in and to stop the systematic denial of access of journalists to the session of the Zaporizhzhya City Council and the meeting of the standing deputy commissions.

In a total, eight women journalists and five men journalists faced pressure in January.

Thus, since the beginning of the year, IMI has recorded eight cases of obstruction and one in each of categpories, such as beating, restriction of access to information, political pressure and cybercrime.

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, implemented by the international organization Internews Network. The contents are the sole responsibility of the Institute for Mass Information and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, the US Government or the Internews Network.

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