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Police probe in 11 crimes against journalists since beginning of the year

09.04.2021, 16:40
Photo credit: Andriy Dubchak/Radio Liberty
Photo credit: Andriy Dubchak/Radio Liberty

The police are probing into 11 criminal proceedings over the crimes committed against the journalists from January to early March 2021. 

The Institute of Mass Information received such data from the Department for Protection of the Interests of Society and the State (DPISS) of the National Police, in response to IMI letter citing the cases listed in the IMI Freedom of Speech Barometer.

In particular, the police investigates the following cases:

- attack of January 4 on Volyn journalist Lyudmila Yavorska. An entrepreneur attacked her when she came to the Pidhaytsivka village council to get comments from deputies about the situation with repairs on one of the streets, as well as to register a request for access to information. Qualification of the offense under Part 2 of Art. 171 of the Criminal code of Ukraine.

-denial of access on January 20 of “Nenachasi” journalist Kateryna Maiboroda to the session of the Zaporizhzhya City Council. Qualification of the offense under Part 1 of Art. 171 of the Criminal code of Ukraine.

-denial of access of journalists to the session of the Zaporizhzhya City Council on January 27. Qualification of the offense under Part 1 of Art. 171 of the Criminal code of Ukraine.

-damage to the car of Rivne journalist and blogger Olga Ferrar on February 2. Qualification of the offense under Part 1 of Art. 296 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (Hooliganism).

- beating in Cherkasy on February 2 of the head and journalist of the local TV channel "Antenna" Valery Vorotnik Qualification of the offense under Part 2 of Article 345-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

-an attack by a group of unknown individuals on Nash TV journalist Oleksiy Palchunov in Kyiv on February 4. Qualification of the offense under Part 2 of Art. 171 of the Criminal code of Ukraine.

-arson of the founder of the portal dtp.kiev.ua Vlad Antonov in Kyiv on the night of February 17. Qualification of the offense under Part 2 of Art. 194 of the Criminal code of Ukraine (Deliberate destruction or damage of property).

-attack of the head of the Vilska united territorial community Petro Bily on the camera crew of the STB TV channel on February 22 in the Zhytomyr region. The official was declared suspected of committing a criminal offense under Part 2 of Art. 345-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine ("Threat or violence against a journalist").

-obstruction to Radio Izium journalist Olha Hovta at the plenary session of the Izium City Council on February 24. Qualification of the offense under Part 1 of Art. 171.

-attack in Vinnytsia on journalist Andriy Kachor, which took place on February 27 during an attempt to record violations of quarantine requirements. His finger was broken during the attack . The case is being investigated under Part 1 of Art. 122 (“Intentional moderate bodily injury”), and not under a journalistic article, as Kachor did not perform a journalistic task at the time.

-beating of Oleksiy Kusov, a journalist with the Inform Bureau, by two unknown individuals in Kharkiv on March 10. Qualification of the offense under Part 2 of Art. 345-1.

According to the DPISS, the police have completed an investigation into five criminal proceedings. In one case, the case was sent to court, in four were closed due to "lack of corpus delicti." In particular, the investigation was completed and the case of the February 3 attack in Kyiv by a shawarma seller on the operator of the Kyiv TV channel, an attempt on his life , was sent to court . The man was notified of suspicion of committing a criminal offense under Part 2 of Art. 171 ("Obstruction of lawful professional activity of journalists") of the Criminal code of Ukraine. The indictment was sent to court on February 26.

In three other cases, which IMI sent to the police, no criminal proceedings were instituted because journalists did not contact the police. These are the following cases:

-complaint of Bohdan Panas, editor-in-chief of the denationalized Black Sea Lighthouse newspaper, about pressure from the city council and mayor Vasyl Gulyaev; 

-attack on the editor-in-chief of the newspaper "Fresh Orange" Vadym Kirpychenko in Pyriatyn, Poltava region;

-denial of access of journalists of the Trostyanets newspaper “Tyzhden” to the session of the Trostyanets district court of Sumy region, in which the mayor is the defendant.

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