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Media community calls on authorities and law enforcement bodies to hold Portnov to account

05.11.2019, 12:24

The media movement “Media for conscious choice” and other media figures call on the authorities and the law enforcement agencies to hold the former official Andriy Portnov to account for having threatened journalists with “Scheme” investigative program and ask to ensure security for journalists, as it is said in the statement of the Media Movement.

"We strongly condemn such actions by the politician Andriy Portnov, we regard it as pressure on freedom of speech, and we believe that it meets the criteria of a criminal offense. In particular, Andriy Portnov disclosed personal data and threatened with a physical harm to the journalists who are investigating his ties to new authorities. Such acts meet criteria of the crime as it is stipulated by the Article 171 of the Criminal Code (obstruction of the legitimate professional activity of the journalist) and the Article 345-1 of the Criminal Code (threat or violence against the journalist), " the statement said.

The integral text of the statement follows:

We, the Ukrainian media and non-government organizations, journalists, who are participants of the Media Movement (Media Rukh), condemn the actions of Andriy Portnov, who is a former MP and an ex-deputy head of the Presidential Administration of Viktor Yanukovych.

Andriy Portnov threatens the editorial staff of “Schemes” journalistic investigations program at the Radio Liberty with publishing "their detailed private and personal data", as well as with "an analysis of privacy and discrete escort in the night-time."

In particular, in his telegram channel, Andriy Portnov has already disclosed the personal data of the driver of the TV crew, which is engaged in the investigation of the activity of the former official, namely: his full passport data and home address, car numbers plates, as well as data attesting his place of residence was under surveillance. Portnov also divulgated the numbers of three other cars belonging to the editorial staff, and called to use force against the investigative journalists, sayimg: “.. I f…you, odious Radio Liberty, with all your concerns. I publish the data of three more of your vehicles involved in illegal activity. Anyone who detects these three cars, know that you have right to retaliate with force against their illegal activity. And we will provide you with legal assistance free of charge”.

We strongly condemn such actions by the politician Andriy Portnov, we regard it as pressure on freedom of speech, and we believe that it meets the criteria of a criminal offense. In particular, Andriy Portnov disclosed personal data and threatened with a physical harm to the journalists who are investigating his ties to new authorities. Such acts meet criteria of the crime as it is stipulated by the Article 171 of the Criminal Code (obstruction of the legitimate professional activity of the journalist) and the Article 345-1 of the Criminal Code (threat or violence against the journalist).

We express our support for the editorial board of the “Schemes” program of Radio Liberty and we believe that the investigation into the influence of Andriy Portnov and his relations with the Ukrainian authorities, which has caused pressure on the editorial board, is socially important information.

We urge the Ukrainian authorities and the law enforcement agencies to hold Andriy Portnov accountable and ask to ensure safety to the journalists and the staff who are under pressure as a result of professional journalistic activity.

Media Movement (MediaRukh)

Institute of Mass Information (IMI)

Detector Media

Internews-Ukraine

“Suspilnist” Foundation

Radio Novoe Vremya

Regional Press Development Institute

“Beyond the News”

ZMINA

Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy

Svetlana Ostapa, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Detector Media

Guy Geldiev, journalist

Iryna Sedova, journalist, human rights activist

Svetlana Yeremenko, Executive Director of Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy

Oksana Romanyuk, Executive Director of IMI

Natalya Lyhachova, head of “Detektor Media”

Iryna Zemplyana, media expert with IMI

The statement of Media Movement is open for signatures. You may sign it here.

***

On February 5th, several Ukraine TV channels, radio companies, printed press outlets and web-based editions and media NGOs launched the media initiative aimed to ensure for Ukraine citizens the possibility to elect the head of state and the parliament on the ground of complete and trustful information.

The first signatories of the media movement memorandum were:

#UA: Pershy, #Ukraynske Radio, #Hromadske radio, #Ukrinform, #Interfax-Ukraine, #Liga.net, #Dzerkalo tyzhdnya weekly, #Novoe Vrema daily, #Censor.net, #The 5th TV channel, #Ukrayinsky Tyzhden, #Opinion, #Independent media council, #Detektor Media, #The Institute of Mass Information, #Internews Ukraine, #Center for democracy and rule of law, #Souspilinist Foundation, #Independent association of TV and radio broadcasters, #The Donetsk institute of information, #The Institute of democracy named of Pylyp Orlyk,

As well as several regional mass media, other media institutions and individual journalists, in total 70 members adhered the media initiative.

You can join or support the Mediarch by contacting Vadym Misky coordinator: vadim.miskyi@gmail.com.

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