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SBU opens a case over wiretapping and video surveillance at Bihus.Info

17.01.2024, 16:25

The Security Service of Ukraine has opened a case over unlawful wiretapping and video surveillance of Bihus.Info employees, reports the SBU Telegram channel.

Proceedings are opened under Article 359 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (Unlawful purchase, sale or use of special technology for secret obtaining of information).

"The SBU believes that the transparent and unhindered work of independent and professional mass media is an important condition for Ukraine's development as a democracy. Such instances of surveillance should be legally assessed regardless of whether or not the covertly filmed materials reveal possible violation of the law related to the circulation of narcotic substances," the SBU said.

Such assessment can only be performed by law enforcement bodies in accordance with their jurisdiction, the report says.

As the IMI reported, on January 16, the head of the Bihus.Info project, Denys Bihus, recorded a statement in response to a provocative video shared on YouTube by the website "Narodna Pravda", wherein his employees negotiate the purchase of drugs and use them, and reported unlawful surveillance and wiretapping. He also announced staff changes.

The phones of the Bihus.Info team were wiretapped for several months, according to Denys Bihus's second video address. He says that the leaked phone conversation recordings point to this. These conversations happened some time apart.

The director of the Institute of Mass Information, Oksana Romaniuk, demands that the authorities address systematic pressure on journalists. She said this while commenting on the pressure on journalist Yuriy Nikolov, whose apartment suffered a break-in attempt by unknown men, and the Bihus.Info team.

The Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Freedom of Speech, Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, has also said that expects the police to respond to the attacks on the Bihus.Info team and the journalist Yuriy Nikolov.

On January 17, the Media Movement called on President Volodymyr Zelensky to resolutely condemn the pressure campaign on independent journalists and investigators and ensure that the crimes against the media are properly investigated.

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