IzbirKom’s editor in chief won case against regional administration and National Guard
On August 9, the Odesa District Administrative Court ruled illegal an attempt to restrict the access of journalist to the premises of the Odesa Regional State Administration and the Odesa Regional Council. The decision was issued on the lawsuit filed by the editor-in-chief of IzbirKom Valery Bolgan against the head of the Odessa Regional State Administration Serhiy Hrynevetsky and the military unit №3012 of the National Guard of Ukraine, as IzbirKom reported.
The court ordered the defendants - the military unit and Serhiy Hrynevetsky - to place the above-mentioned decision at the entrance to the administrative building of the regional council №1.
“The appealed decision imposed restrictions for the press, which are not based on the law. No law provides for the mandatory accompaniment of journalists by members of the press service as a condition for a journalist to enter the premises. In addition, the defendants did not justify the need for such an additional restriction. Accordingly, such a decision is arbitrary and the court correctly overturned it, ” said Yulia Lisova, a legal adviser at the Public Center for Justice, who provided legal support to the publication's editor-in-chief.
It is noted that the court upheld the plaintiff's claims in part.
In the absence of an appeal by the defendants, the decision will take effect on September 19.
The plaintiff demanded to declare illegal and cancel the requirement of the Rules of access to the administrative building № 1, located on Shevchenko Avenue, 4, which relates to mandatory accompanying of media workers by employees of the press service of the Odessa regional council or Odessa regional state administration when visiting the administrative building.
As IMI reported, on February 2, journalists from Odesa Region appealed to the Ukrainian Parliament's Commissioner for Human Rights Lyudmyla Denisova due to restrictions on media representatives in accessing the premises of the Odesa Regional Council and the Odesa Regional State Administration.
In March, Valery Bolgan, challenged in court the restriction of journalists' access to the premises of the Odessa Regional State Administration and the Odessa Regional Council.
In particular, the journalist appealed against the rules of access to the building where the Odessa Regional State Administration and the Regional Council are located. These rules were signed by the commander of the military unit №3012 of the National Guard and approved by the head of the Odessa Regional State Administration on January 29, 2021.
The defendants are the military unit №3012 of the National Guard of Ukraine and the head of the Odessa Regional State Administration Serhiy Hrynevetsky.