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Journalist in Kherson claimed about obstructive action by municipal officials

20.09.2021, 15:00

Oleksandra Yakubovska, a journalist with the Kherson Newscity online publication, claimed about obstructive actions on the part of officials from Kherson City Council. The City Council denied the fact of obstruction.

As Oleksandra Yakubovska wrote on Facebook, on September 18 she was not allowed to film a banquet held in a small council hall. The banquet was organized after a solemn session of the city council dedicated to the City Day.

"I saw that all allies to the mayor, elected councilpersons, officials went not to the exit, but to another room. I followed them: as you remember, by law all actions of the City Council are open to journalists. And there was a feast of the feasts, regale, alcohol. We started filming it all, " as Yakubovska wrote.

In a comment to the representative of IMI in the Kherson region, Oleksandra Yakubovska said that the mayor saw her and said something to her adviser Halyna Lyashevska.

"Lyashevskaya sent a woman to me to take me out. I filmed this conversation. But so that they would not understand that the recording was going on, she took the camera down, as a result the conversation could not be heard very well because of the noise," she said.

According to the journalist, the woman who took her out explained to her that she had no right to be there because it was not an official event. 

"I refused to go, I tried to stay. That's why Lyashevska herself came to take me out and told some women not to let journalists in and close the door," Yakubovska said. 

As the adviser to the Mayor Halyna Lyashevska noted in a comment to the IMI representative, there was no obstruction of journalist work.

"The official opening ceremony of the Kherson City Day celebrations took place in the big hall of the City Executive Committee, where all journalists were invited and conditions were made for their work. A tradional meal on occasion of the City day  for honoured Kherson residents, invited persons, involving the Mayor, secretary of the municipal council, delegates was held in panied with the employees of municipal executive council. No journalists were invited to the event, as evidenced by the absence of any of the media, except for two girls working for the Kherson Newscity website. It was obvious they were the only ones who got lost, so their weareabouts was rectified. The girls did not argue, went out and joined other journalists. So, there was no obstruction to journalistic activity, " Lyashevska said. 

In addition, she drew attention to the fact that the feast took place on a non-working day (Saturday), not at the expense of the budget. "So, no violations of the Regulations of the executive bodies of the Kherson City Council occured there," she said.

IMI lawyer Ali Safarov noted that the question of whether the banquet was a closed-door meeting of the entity of power after the celebrations is disputable.

The journalist reminded: The Law of Ukraine "On Information" in part two of Article 25 stipulated that a journalist had the right to freely visit the premises of subjects of power, open events held by them. 

"If any events of the subjects of power are held behind closed door, the presence of journalists might be limited. The question of whether the banquet was a closed door event of the entity of power after the celebrations is disputable. If it was closed door, then the law must determine the grounds for restriction of information, because, in accordance with Article 20 of the Law of Ukraine "On Information", the order of access information is divided into open information and information with limited access, and any information is open, except that included by law in information with limited access. So, if an entity of power holds an event, it will be open, unless the law requires such a body to restrict information, for example in the case of state secrets, etc., "Ali Safarov explained.

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