In July, the number of violations of freedom of press and beatings reached peak since beginning of the year – IMI
In July, IMI registered in Ukraine 28 cases of violations of freedom of press and rights of journalists. This is the largest number of violations registered since the beginning of the year. Also, in July, the largest number of beatings of journalists was registered since the beginning of the year – 6 cases. This is the data provided by the Institute of Mass Information’s monthly monitoring “Freedom of press barometer”. In January, in total 15 cases of violation of freedom of press were registered in Ukraine, in February – 21, in March – 16, in April – 26, in May – 24, and in June – 20. In July, the largest number of violations was registered in two categories – “beatings, assaults” and “impediment to lawful journalist activities” – 6 each, correspondingly. The number of beaten journalists in July grew compared to previous months (June – 3, May – 3, April – 1, March – 1, February – 1, January – 0). The cases of assaults and beatings took place in Dnipropetrovska, Donetska, and Zhytomyrska oblasts, as well as in Vinnytsia, Mykolaiv, and Cherkasy. Generally, the violations of journalists' rights and freedom of speech in July were registered by IMI in 15 oblasts of Ukraine. In particular, such violations in July took place most often in Kyiv, Mykolaivska and Volynska oblasts: in each of them 4 cases of such violations were registered. The entities violating the journalists' right for their profession, according to IMI monitoring, were private individuals, police and other governmental officers, local and central authorities, hackers, representatives of the judicial branch of power and communal enterprises. The number of cases of impediment, compared to June, decreased a little (June – 10, May – 9, April – 8, March – 3, February – 7, January – 5). At the same time, this category remains the one with most offences. Of six cases of impediments, three took place in Mykolaiv, where representatives of the authorities were pushing journalists, not letting them into the office, and complained about presence of mass media reporters in the session hall. In addition, in July IMI registered 5 cases of threats, 4 cases of pressure via the Internet, 2 cases of each – restriction of access to public information and political pressure. Also, 1 case of each – damaging the property of journalists, court claims against mass media and by journalists. The damaged property was the burned car of a journalist from Kharkiv, editor of the information portal “Insider info“ and staff correspondent of the agency “Crimean news” Ihor Rusin. Rusin is assured that his car was set on fire, as there were too many coincidences – his website was attacked by hackers, there were two attempts to hack his admin account, and three more attempts to hack his own account. The cases of pressure via the Internet are DDoS attacks against the website LB.ua, website of Zaporizhzhya city 061.ua, and against the newspaper of Hlukhiv “Nedelya”, and also attacks by an overwhelming number of calls from unknown numbers against the cell phone of the editor-in-chief of LB.ua Sonya Koshkina on her birthday, on July 8. Koshkina thinks that the hacker attacks against the website LB.ua and her cell phone are related to her struggle against construction on the location of Sinnyi market in Kyiv, about which she publishes materials on her web-site. More information about the state of freedom of press is available on IMI’s website in the section “Freedom of Press Barometer”. The Institute of Mass Information conducts a monthly all-Ukrainian monitoring of freedom of press according to the following categories: physical aggression, censorship and access to information, economic and political pressure, legal pressure and cybercrime against media outlets and journalists. The monthly report includes only the cases related to freedom of press and professional journalist activity. The methodology is outlined here.
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