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Labor rights, police inactivity, quarantine affecting journalists' rights – IMI hotline outcome

03.04.2020, 15:43

During the first quarter of this year, the lawyers with IMI have provided 74 consultations on hotline requests. Journalists were inquired about labor rights, police inaction, impact the quarantine related to COVID-19 pandemic had produced on their rights.

According to the lawyer Ali Safarov, the topic changed significantly during the quarter.

"If at the beginning of the year, there was a lot of questions on legislative initiatives: a new media bill, a misinformation bill initiative, then as of March, these issues have ceased to be of interest for the journalists, instead, the issues related to the COVID-19 epidemic and quarantine impact to journalists' rights came to the fore, "he said.

In January, the lawyer added, the journalists were very inquiring a lot about the use of the Ukrainian language in media activities.

In addition, due to the difficult situation, especially as to the financing of the National Public Television and Radio Broadcasting Company, we observed a growing number of consultations on labor rights of journalists and their guarantees, the statutory dismissal procedures and mechanisms for preventing violations of the rights of journalists whose posts have been reduced. At the end of the quarter, the number of consultations on medical secrecy and the balance of the right to free speech and the right to privacy and confidentiality about health has significantly increased.

"Traditionally, there have been many reports of police inaction as to the facts of obstruction to journalistic activity. During the first quarter, there has been a significant increase in the number of journalists not been admitted to the meetings held by the authorities and local self-government, as well as denials of requests for access to public information. And one could say the local self-governments have begun to justify these measures restricting the journalists' access to information with quarantine, " Ali Safarov said.

We remind that the IMI legal hotline has been launched for journalists, mass media and other actors of information relations who have questions related to the legal regulation of the collection, storage, dissemination of information, in particular on the Internet.

Consultations are provided by media lawyers Roman Golovenko and Ali Safarov at 050-44-77-063 . You can also send an email to IMI info@imi.org.ua .

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