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Mall security guards in Lutsk bar "Konkurent TV" journalists from filming a public event

23.05.2023, 14:34
Photo: screenshot from the video by Konkurent TV
Photo: screenshot from the video by Konkurent TV

In Lutsk, security guards at the PortCity mall barred "Konkurent TV" journalists from filming the national cycling campaign "Veloden", reports Konkurent.

The incident happened on May 21 as cyclists were gathering next to the mall. The event had been announced by the Lutsk City Council on May 19, after the relevant decree had been signed by the mayor.

The "Konkurent TV" filming crew went to where the cyclists were gathering, which was happening next to PortCity. The journalists were going to cover the event and interview the Lutsk locals who decided to take part in the race.

However, as soon as the TV channel's cameraman started filming, people in the mall's security uniform started telling the crew to leave.

As "Konkurent TV" director, Oleksandra Kurteeva, said in her comment to IMI, the security barred the entire filming crew from working. Cameraman Oleksandr Fetysov was told to turn off his camera and "leave the private property" together with journalist Olha Wozniak.

The guards said that the reasons for the prohibition was that the mall was "private property" and that the journalists had no permit from the mall's administration. In turn, the journalists stressed that the event was public, not private.

After the incident, the channel's filming crew filed a statement with the police regarding obstruction of journalistic activity.

"Some woman was the first to oppose the filming. She did not introduce herself. The woman asked who we were and said that there was martial law in place in the country and that we couldn't film. Later, this woman said that she had not invited us, insisted that we leave the event, and called two security guards. One of them showed an ID, his name was Oleksandr," Kurteeva said.

She also added that other local mass media were working on the spot, but for some reason "Konkurent TV" were the only ones to trigger complaints.

The IMI representative tried to call the mall administration and get their comment on the security guard's actions, but no one picked up the phone.

Roman Holovenko, a lawyer at the Institute of Mass Information, noted that if this was really private property (owned or leased), then enforcing the ban on filming might be problematic. But, he added, if access to the premises is free, it is quite easy to film covetly, since almost everyone has a smartphone with a camera nowadays.

"Article 307 of the Civil Code mentions filming people upon their consent. However, consent is assumed if the filming is being done openly in the street, at meetings, conferences, rallies and other public events," Holovenko reminded.

The lawyer stressed that in such cases, journalists can contact the police regarding the obstruction of their work, because there are precedents of people being prosecuted for obstructing filming in shops (that is, on private property that is generally free access to the public).

According to the lawyer, the issue of filming in such places should be additionally regulated by the law.

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