In Kherson, camera operator of TV and Radio Company «Ukrayina” not allowed to water treatment plant’s territory
On June 8, in Kherson the camera operator of the TV and Radio Company «Ukrayina” Oleh Slobodian, who along with the city councilmember Olena Mazur tried to get to the territory fo the communal enterprise “Kherson water treatment plant”, faced resistance from the enterprise’ security guards. The camera operator informed about the incident the representative of ІМІ in Khersonska oblast.
According to Slobodian, Olena Mazur intended together with the residents of the building, in which wastewater disposal was cut off over unpaid bills, to clear up the situation with the water treatment plant’s management.
“We were sitting near the administrative building of the water treatment plant, when we were approached by the security guards. They started asking who we are and what we are doing here. My camera was at my side switched off. We informed that we were there to see the management but they told us that it was a non-visiting day and both the director and his substitute are not on the premises”, told Oleh Slobodian and added that the security guards were rather rude.
After that, councilmember Olena Mazur and camera operator Oleh Slobodian tried to enter the administrative building but were told that it was a non-visiting day.
In his comment to the IMI representative, the head of the enterprise’ security guard Volodymyr Savytskyi said, “I am aware what obstruction to journalist activities is, so we behaved according to the instructions. We did not obstruct anybody and were not rude, we just informed them that the water treatment plant is a secure facility and has certain rules”.
After that, Olena Mazur called police and filed a complaint about obstruction to councilmember’s activities. The camera operator did not write a complaint. As a result, the camera operator, the councilmember, and the residents of the building, in which wastewater disposal was cut off, were seen by the first substitute of the director of the water treatment plant.
IMI’s media lawyer Maksym Ratushnyi reminds that the legislation does not contain a definition for a “secure facility” and that there can be objects under security, but if their territory does not enforce access control it is not a secure facility per se.