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Rivne City Council prevents a journalist from attending an event, tries to keep it secret

09.08.2022, 12:01

Rivne City Council tried to prevent Chetverta Vlada journalist Yaroslava Nikityuk from attending its standing committee's meeting with entrepreneurs. The editors write that this is the first such violation in a long time.

Chetverta Vlada reports this.

The journalist came to the meeting, which the media learned about from their own sources, as the City Council did not announce the event.

The editors suspected that the event was being kept secret deliberately, because it was preceded by a conflict. Moreover, according to the media outlet, some corruption could be taking place behind closed doors. The meeting was preceded by a conflict with the entrepreneurs who had worked in a local park until they were kicked out and replaced by others. After this, the officials decided to meet with the businessmen, who had some questions to ask them.

Oksana Vlasyuk, the head of the information and analytical support department at the City Executive Committee, initially did not allow the journalist to attend the deputy committee's meeting, arguing that it was an internal event. Subsequently, the chief expert of the City Council's organizational support department Oleksiy Shklyarenko tried to prevent the journalist from entering as well.

After Yaroslava Nikityuk's insistence, the committee's head, Tamara Tymoshchuk, came down to the journalist and referred to the event as an "internal meeting" again, but in the end allowed the Cetverta Vlada representative to attend it.

As a reminder, journalists are allowed to freely visit the premises of bodies of state power. Article 25 of the Law of Ukraine "On Information" guarantees this.

"If the event is closed, there must be an according decision, which must be presented at the media worker's request. If something contradicts the legal acts of the local self-government body or limits the journalist's rights established by law, such actions can be qualified as obstruction of legitimate journalistic activity," said Yevhen Vorobyov, a lawyer from Human Rights Platform CSO, in his comment to Chetverta Vlada.

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