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"Syla Pravdy" journalist to sue a state-owned enterprise over access denial

09.01.2024, 11:48
Photo: Syla Pravdy
Photo: Syla Pravdy

"Syla Pravdy" journalist Oksana Petruk is sueing the state-owned enterprise "Forests of Ukraine" for their refusal to provide her with the information she requested.

Oksana Petruk shared this with the IMI representative in the Volyn oblast.

According to the journalist, she filed a lawsuit with the Volyn District Administrative Court on January 5. Her case will be tried by judge Viktor Valiukh.

Earlier, on December 12, 2023, "Syla Pravdy" wrote to the State Enterprise "Forests of Ukraine" with a request to provide information on the Polissya Forestry Office's staff list including the full names of the officials and their salaries. However, the enterprise replied that the requested information was of no public interest and they were under no obligation to provide it.

The journalist sent a second request on December 21, 2023. To confirm the public interest of the request, she added a link to the articles about the discrepancy between the lifestyle of the head of the Polissya Forestry Office and his official declaration, as well as to the news about the case that the police have opened against the Office's officials, suspecting them of illegal logging and embezzlement.

However, the state enterprise gave no reply within the five-day deadline stipulated by the Law "On Access to Public Information". On December 29, 2023, after the journalist's phone conversation with the enterprise's employee regarding the reason for delaying the response to the request, "Forests of Ukraine" sent another refusal.

"Your request contains no substantiated arguments that would prove a significant public interest specifically in the articles mentioned in the request, indicate that their content concerns issues that are of exceptional importance to society in the context of the above criteria. Moreover, two of the four articles listed in the request were prepared for the online media 'Syla Pravdy', which implies cooperation, which may indicate that the interest in them is being manufactured artifically," reads the letter signed by the CEO of the State Enterprise "Forests of Ukraine", Ihor Lytsur.

In her turn, the journalist filed a lawsuit, asking the court to declare the refusal by the SE "Forests of Ukraine" unlawful and order them to provide the requested information.

As reported earlier, the Lutsk police interrogated "Syla Pravdy" journalists as part of the case opened on the basis of the statement by Anastasiya Venislavska, who was featured in a journalistic investigation.

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