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Odessa journalists claimed about insecurity of work in the region

20.12.2019, 15:07
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The Odessa journalists claimed there was no guarantee of security for their work. They complained as well of inaction of local officials as to the issues of protection of freedom of speech and dignity. This is stated in an open letter signed by local journalists to the leadership of the state and law enforcement agencies.

The journalists asked to take control over the investigation of all the facts of the attacks on journalists in the Odessa region over the last three years and to contribute to protection of journalists' rights and their legitimate professional activity.

Here is a full text of the open letter:

The open letter of the media professionals of the Odessa region addressed to the President of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the Prosecutor General's Office, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the National Police of Ukraine about the attacks and obstruction of journalists' professional activity in the Odessa region.

We, the media workers of the Odessa region, who have faced obstruction in our work and attacks for our professional activity over the last three years, have to say that there is in fact no guarantee for safe work of media professionals, and the journalists in the region face inaction of local officials as to the issues of protection freedom of speech and dignity.

As the Freedom of Speech monitoring held by the Institute of Mass Information, in 2019, the Odessa region became the leader amid other regions of Ukraine (after Kyiv) by the number of violations of journalists' rights. In particular, as of last December, 18 cases of violations of journalists' rights have been recorded. For the last three years, Odesa has been consistently in the top five in terms of freedom of speech violations. Thus, during 2017–2018, according to the IMI monitoring, Odesa region was taking the fifth position.

At present, the law enforcement agencies fail to fulfil its function as it was established by the legislation to protect the legitimate professional activity of journalists: no information is filed in a due time to the National register of pre-trial investigations (NRPI), these cases are inefficiently investigated and so on. Sometimes, they detain the perpetrators, but they fail to completely investigate such crimes, they fail to identify instigators.

Given the extremely negative trend, we require:

  • from the leadership of Ukraine: to take under its control the investigation of all the facts of the attacks committed against the journalists in the Odessa region over the last three years and to contribute to the cause of protection of the rights of journalists, their legitimate professional activity;
  • from the law enforcement agencies : to respond in due time, to promptly, fully, timely and in due time investigate into all cases of attacks against journalists, to establish perpetrators and instigators, to ensure that the necessary legal procedures are respected whitin investigation;
  • from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the National Police of Ukraine, the Prosecutor General's Office : to provide a public report from law enforcement officials of the Odessa region in January 2020 on the progress of criminal investigations into assaults on journalists in the Odessa region and obstruction of their professional activity over the last three years.

We call on the central authorities and the law enforcement institutions of Ukraine to take seriously the issue of safety of media professionals in the Odesa region and to have an appropriare response to it.


The persons who signed the open letter:

Anastasia Bolsheedvorova, journalist with "My Odessa"TV and radio company

Aliya Zamchinska, local journalist

Svilana Pidpala, deputy editor in chief of “Zeleny Lyst” newspaper

Oleksander Zhyrnosenko, correspondent for web-based edition

Mykhailo Shtekel, correspondent for Ukrainian desk of Radio Liberty

Tetyana Sarnatska, deputy Director General for Development of “Krug” TV and radio company

Valeriy Bolgan, Editor-in-Chief of "IzbirCom"

Oksana Pidnebesna, editor-in-chief of web-based edition "Syla gromad", PR consultant with the Odessa branch of Association of Ukrainian Cities

Yuri Dyachenko, correspondent for “Zeleny Lyst” newspaper

Kateryna Gutsol (Madens), Editor-in-Chief of


The statement was supported by:  

NGO "Institute of Mass Information"

Oksana Romanyuk, Executive Director of the Institute of Mass Information

Natalya Ligacheva, Editor-in-Chief of Detector Media

Irina Zemlyana, Media Expert and Security Coach at the Institute of Mass Media

Pavel Kolotvin, Regional Representative of IMI in Odessa region

Olga Baklazhenko, editor in chief of "USI"

Maria Shevchuk, journalist of “Informer” magazine

Yevgeniya Henova, editor of "IzbirCom"

Oleksandr Novitsky, member of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine. Member of the International Federation of Journalists

Konstantin Grechanii, Managing Editor of Reporter TV company

Igor Kravets, Chairman of the Board of the Black Sea Human Rights Group NGO

Oleksandr Zamkovy, Coordinator of Media Projects of NGO "Institute for Political Information"

Irina Chirkina, local journalist

Nadezhda Trush, journalist at (Poltava), co-founder of NGO "Poltava Media Kolo", representative of IMI in Poltava region

Maya Golub, regional representative of the Institute of Mass Information in Volyn Region I

Yaroslav Gulan, regional IMI representative in Transcarpathian region

Serhiy Nikitenko, MOST Online Edition (Kherson)

Tetyana Pechonchyk, Chairman of the Board of the ZMINA Human Rights Center

Vitaliy Ustimenko, Head of the Odessa branch of AutoMaydan

Yana Mashkova, IMI media analyst

Alexey Zakharchenko, Chairman of the Board of the Sumy Press Club

Hromadske radio

Mykhailo Kushnir, editor of the program "Theme of the Day", TV channel "UA: Odessa"

Kateryna Sereda, regional IMI representative in Mykolaiv region

Christina Petrik, journalist of the Pershy Municipal. Odessa

Julia Sybir, Head of Paritet Press Center

Vitaliy Matveyev, lawyer, board member of NGO "Projector"

Olga Padiryakova, Editor-in-Chief of the ZMINA Human Rights Center website

Taras Borosovsky, investigative journalist (Zhytomyr)

Oleksandr Halas, member of the National Union of Journalists of Ukarine

Olena Kravchenko, local journalist

Stanislav Kalach, PMA Odesa Hub chairman

Oksana Suponenko, free lance journalist

Zakhar Kolisnichenko, freelance reporter, regional IMI representative in Cherkasy region

Michael Beizerman, TV presenter

Vitaliy Milevych, editor in chief of “Pershy municipal” TV channel

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