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Police in Zaporizhzhya probes into 11 cases of obstruction of journalists

05.05.2021, 17:01

11 criminal proceedings in incidents involving obstruction to journalistic activity (Art. 171 of the Criminal code) have been instituted in Zaporizhzhya region in the space of the last year and the first decade of 2021. Such are the figures from the website of the Main directorate of the national police in the Zaporozhye region.

An indictment was sent to the court in one criminal proceeding, and investigations are underway in eight other cases.

The issues of security of the journalists in the region, progress of the criminal investigations of facts of obstruction were discussed during the meeting between the superiors of the Department for Protection of Public and State Interests and the Department of Communication and the representative of the Institute of Mass Information in the region Natalia Vyhovska.

The meeting aimed to strengthen dialogue and cooperation between law enforcement agencies and NGOs, to protect the journalists, to provide favorable conditions for journalism in accordance with applicable law.

As IMI reported, on April 23 in Zaporizhzhya, the editor of the Nenachasi website, Kateryna Maiboroda, was not allowed to attend the session of municipal council.

We will remind, on February 10, the permanent panel on deputy activity issues, regulations, and prevention of corruption of the Zaporizhia city council suggested to develop the procedure of accreditation of mass media. But the draft decision did not appear on the website of the City Council before the next session on February 24. 

As IMI reported, on January 30, more than 20 journalists from Zaporizhzhya addressed a public statement to the governmental authority asking them to intervene and to stop systematic denial of access for the journalists at the Zaporizhia City Council session and meetings of standing deputy commissions.

The journalists said that since the spring of 2020 they have been denied to attend the sessions of the City Council and deputy commissions and so, were unable to fully cover the activities of the city authorities of Zaporizhzhya.

On January 20, the security guards of the Zaporizhzhya City Council did not allow journalists to attend meetings of standing deputy commissions. The guards justified the refusal with quarantine restrictions. 

On January 18, Bohdan Vasylenko, editor-in-chief of the Hvozdy portal, was not allowed to attend a meeting of the Zaporizhzhya City Council's standing commission on health care and social protection.

On December 21, 2020, the second extraordinary session of the Zaporizhzhya City Council was held with no journalists present. During the session, the mayor of Zaporizhia, Volodymyr Buryak, refused to submit for vote the issue of the journalists' presence at the session, because they are not representatives of local self-government bodies.

On December 1, 2020, the first session of the Zaporizhzhya City Council was also held without mass media and members of the public due to quarantine restrictions.

On November 4, 2020, two Zaporizhzhzhya journalists were  not allowed  to attend an extraordinary session of the City Council.

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