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Kropyvnytsky journalists denied access to a city council meeting

17.05.2022, 11:19

"Suspilne Kropyvnytsky" filming crew was not allowed to attend a meeting of the Kropyvnytsky City Council which took place on May 12.

Journalist Oleksandr Smetanko reported this to the IMI representative in Kirovohrad region.

According to the media outlet, despite the lack of a traditional announcement on the council's official website, the channel had information about the meeting and deployed a filming crew to cover the event. However, the journalists were not allowed into the meeting hall, with "agreed-upon restrictions" being mentioned as the reason.

The IMI representative asked the City Council to provide an explanation as to what was the reason for not allowing journalists to the deputies. Within a few days, we received a response from the legal department of the council, which was passed on through a representative of the "press office" Serhiy Yakunin. “Given the introduction of martial law in Ukraine, in order to protect the lives and health of persons who participated in the session, the information about the time and place of the sixth meeting of the ninth session was not published, no online stream was carried out, and no mass media representatives were  invited," the response reads.

IMI lawyer Roman Holovenko, having studied the "comment" provided by the council, noted that the answer did not explain the reasons for not allowing journalists to the meeting hall. To this end, a decision should have been made in advance to hold a so-called closed session. "If such a document is not available, and the response of the City Council does not indicate its existence, the situation with Kropyvnytsky journalists can be described as a violation of the law on access to information," said the lawyer.

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