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Police dropped case over issuance of press cards to non-journalists

23.12.2021, 16:57

The police dropped the criminal proceedings in the case of issuance of membership press cards to non-authorized persons by the Vinnytsia regional organization of the National Union of Journalists. This was reported on the website of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine.

Thus, at the request of the union, the National Police reported that the decision to drop the criminal proceedings was made on the basis of paragraph 2 of Part 1 of Article. 284 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, due to the absence of elements of the criminal offence.

NUJU reminded that the pre-trial investigation into “issuance of deliberately forged press cards” (Part 1 of Article 366 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine) was launched by the police after the publication by Anton Bulgakov, who, according to NUJU, accused NUJU branches in issuing membership certificates to "non-journalists". 

We remind NUJU that the format of the blog is the author's one and does not mean any "comments from the opposite party." In addition, the blog was published on the IMI website on August 6, 2021, but the NUJU did not find time to respond to it for more than four months. Instead, the organization that declared to be engaged in "defence of freedom of speech" began to exert public pressure and accuse of "denunciations" a regional journalist who criticized the NUJU. At the same time, neither Anton Bulgakov, nor any of the other representatives and employees of IMI appealed to law enforcement officers complaining that the NUJU issues press cards to non-journalists. Pursuant to Article 214 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, an investigator or prosecutor may initiate criminal proceedings, in particular independently, if he considers that certain information indicates a criminal offense was committed, including information obtained by the investigator, prosecutor from open sources, media, Internet etc.

It will be recalled that in his blog “Fake Journalists as a Threat to Freedom of Speech”, the Vinnytsia journalist Anton Bulgakov raised the issue of granting by NUJU journalists' press cards to non-authorized persons.

As IMI reported, on December 8, the Media Movement opposed the issuance of journalistic press cards to outsiders and called for a public audit of the membership of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU).

Earlier, the regional branches of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine have been repeatedly issuing press cards to non-journalists. Such cases were recorded, for example, in Volyn , Kherson , Odessa regions (in the latter case, after publication of the story, the press  card was revoked).

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