Recommendations of parliamentary hearings on safety of journalists made public
The Verkhovna Rada is invited to approve the draft resolution No. 2541 "On recommendations of parliamentary hearings" on "Security of journalists in Ukraine: condition, issues and solutions". The text of recommendations was made public.
The corresponding draft resolution was signed by members of the Committee on Freedom of Speech in the Parliament on 5 December.
The authors of the draft resolution suggested the MPs to hear at the Committee on Freedom of Speech in May 2020 the reports from law enforcement bodies on progress of investigations into criminal cases instituted for obstruction of professional journalistic activity and the death of journalists.
The Cabinet of Ministers should inform the Verkhovna Rada by 1 June 2020 on progress of implementation of the Parliamentary Hearing Recommendations.
In particular, the Recommendation proposed to define the terms "journalist" and "journalistic activity" and to align it with European standards in this field, and to amend/to remove the feature of "systematic" character of such activity.
This is due to protect those persons who are not systematically engaged in journalism and whose activity had been obstructred.
The MPs are suggested to:
- hold annual parliamentary hearings on condition of security of journalists and freedom of expression in Ukraine;
- determine the legal status of online media and journalists with online mass media;
- at the legislative level, to protect the activities of citizen journalists (persons who collect and disseminate publicly important information);
- to increase the limitation period of criminal prosecution for offenses committed against journalists in connection with their professional activity;
- to exclude unlawful denial to provide public information at the request of a journalist from the criminal category and to consider it as administrative offenses;
- to form an effective supervisory body that will have the necessary powers to effectively monitor and prevent breaches of the law on personal data protection, in particular, personal data of journalists.
Recommendations were also drawn up for the President of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers, the Prosecutor General's Office, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the National Police, the SBI, the Ministry of Defense, the Supreme Court, the Human Rights Commissioner, the United Nations Operations Headquarters, journalistic and media organizations, editorial offices.
The integral text of recommendations are available on the Parliament's website.
As IMI reported, on November 6, 2019, the parliamentary hearings "Security of activity of journalists in Ukraine: condition, issues and solutions” was held.
On November 6, IMI Executive Director Oksana Romanyuk reported during the parliamentary hearing on journalists' security that over first 10 months of 2019, 208 journalists were injured in Ukraine due to their professional activity.