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Military journalists concede they are obstructed in ATO zone due to possible contraband exposure

01.10.2015, 23:39

Ukrainian military correspondents concede that obstruction to their work in the ATO zone may be related to exposure of facts of contraband in the ATO zone. This is the opinion they voiced at the first session of the working group under the Ministry of Defense dedicated to journalists’ work in the area of anti-terrorist operation (ATO), which took place on September 30. The journalist noted that recently many new restrictions were imposed that were not there during the intensive combat. The session was attended by military correspondents of the TV channels "Inter", "1+1", ICTV, "24" and others, by Vice-Minister of Information Policy Tetiana Popova, head of department of communication and press in the Ministry of Defense Oksana Havryliuk, head of the  General Headquarters’ press service Ruslan Kavatsiuk, press officers, and others. The participants tried to work out an effective mechanism for conducting journalist activities in the ATO area.

In particular, the journalists requested to mitigate notice obligations for cases when they conduct video recording, not to restrict the number of possible routes for reporters in the application, as the plans in this environment tend to change a lot, to punish the army speakers who knowingly feed the journalist false information, to make supervision of press officers less restrictive (only when needed), to make proper quality press ID cards, and to make their form known at all checkpoints.

Also, the journalists demanded to create a clear procedure for withdrawing accreditation, including a written notification specifying reasons for such withdrawal. The officials promised to place these issues on agenda to their Ministries’ decision makers.

The working group was created after protests from several journalists against excessive restrictions and improper conduct of HQ officers regulating the press. 

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