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Kropyvnytskyi city council to hold closed-door session and advise journalists to watch its online broadcast

23.04.2020, 16:38

As to the secretary, during this session the deputies will consider the issue of redistribution of subvention from the state budget, in particular, directing of funds in the field of education and health care, as well as providing Kropiuvnytsky citizens with insulin.

"The meeting will be held closed door, so I ask journalists and activists to accept understandingly the situation and watch the broadcast online," Tabalov said.

IMI lawyer Ali Safarov noted that during the restrictive measures implemented by local governments in quarantine, the authorities should provide journalists with access to information. Otherwise, it will be an obstruction to journalistic activity.

According to the lawyer, the law of Ukraine "On protection of the population from infectious diseases" allows local self-governments in the conditions of declared quarantine to set certain restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of the epidemic. To reduce contact between people in a confined space, many activities are carried out remotely, including video conferencing, video broadcasts, and more.

At the same time, Ali Safarov noted, IMI notes the frequent cases when, justifying it with quarantine restrictions, local governments try to disguise some publicly important information from journalists. 

“Therefore, in each case taken apart, this is necessary to analyze whether the balance between the quarantine measures and the right to information has been maintained? Do officials provide journalists with access to information from its sessions through video broadcast of the session? In particular, will the video broadcast not only capture the words of the speaker, but also the remarks voiced by the deputies in the hall? Will journalists have the opportunity to receive draft documents and other additional information? In cases, where local governments are unable to provide journalists with the above-mentioned information and materials, denial of access for the press in the boardroom can be considered as an obstruction to legitimate professional activity. Especially when the session deals with socially important issues about redistribution of the subvention from the state budget, ”Ali Safarov said.

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