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Journalists in Zaporizhzhya waited for three hours to get answer from police

26.01.2021, 12:21
Photo credit: Maya Golub
Photo credit: Maya Golub

The journalists in Zaporizhzhya received a response from the police regarding the progress of their complaints about the facts of obstruction to their professional activity by some municipal officials. Elmira Shagabutdinova and Kateryna Mayboroda spent three hours on January 25 at the Voznesenivsky District Police Department to get answers from police. The journalists reported it by themselves to the IMI representatives in the Zaporizhia region.

We will remind, on January 20 , the security guards of the Zaporizhia city council didn't allow journalists to attend the meeting of commissions. The guards justified the refusal with lockdown restrictions. The journalists called the police, but even after that they were not allowed to attend the meeting. As a result, they wrote two complaints about obstructing professional journalism.

According to the journalists, on January 22, they tried to find out whether the police had entered their complaints in the Unified Register of Pre-trial Investigations (ERDR). All they were told by phone was that the complaint from Kateryna Maiboroda, the editor of “Nenachasi” edition, had not been submitted to the ERDR, and there was no information about the complaint from Elmira Shagabudddinova, a 061.ua journalist, so the journalist was to come to the police department on a working day, to speak to a precinct officer.

“Elmira Shagabudddinova and I visited the Voznesenivskyi regional department (January 25, ed. ) with the purpose to find out why our complaints were not entered to the ERDR. It was found out that on the day we were not allowed to get to the commission, the police handed us not a complaint form, but a so-called "questionnaire" - although we said we wanted to write complaints about the fact of obstruction. Anyway, but both questionnaires were joined into one case under one application number, - said Kateryna Maiboroda. - However, according to Oleksandr Kryvytskyi, the head of the Voznesenivskyi district police station, who came to us only after our persistent demands, it was not included in the ERDR, because “no crime was seen there”.

The journalists also said that they were denied to get any written answer that the complaints had not been entered to the ERDR. The policeman told the media that they could receive the case files after their case was considered, ie within 30 days. 

"We noted that by law we have only 10 days to appeal against, but Oleksandr Kryvytskyi only replied that we could make an appointment with the head of the investigation department," Mayboroda added.

According to Mayboroda, after some time of waiting it turned out that they could not be admitted to the head of the investigative department due to quarantine. This was reported to them by a duty officer of the Voznesenivka regional police department. He also advised to write a complaint to the office of the department, which should be considered someday.

"As a result, after three hours of waiting and negotiations, we submitted applications to the head of the investigation department, Romanchi Vitaliy, asking for a written official answer, whether our complaints were registered, and to report the complaints’ registration number at the ERDR," the “Nenachasi” editor concluded.

The legal analyses of non-admission of journalists to the City Council session  due to quarantine here.

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