REPORT ON THE CRISIS IN FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND MEDIA FREEDOM in Ukraine

Posted: 26.01.2011 in Міжнародний досвід, ПАРЕ, громадські організації, International

17 January 2011

Recently the European Union has publicly expressed its concern about the backsliding in standards of protection for freedom of speech in Ukraine. However, the troubling reality is that the country has regressed into a situation in which journalists again disappear without trace, television channels which carry reports critical of government authorities are deprived of licenses, and independent mass media face various forms of attack on their ability to continue their work and survive.

The situation is very serious, and the toll of deaths and injuries inflicted on journalists through violent assaults is heavy. During the past 19 years since Ukraine achieved its independence nearly 40 media workers in Ukraine have died in suspicious circumstances. Traditionally, on the third Friday in September Ukrainians mark Journalists Memory Day, to honour those who have died while carrying out their duties. This date was chosen because it is the anniversary of the murder of Georgiy Gongadze in the year 2000. Now the Ukrainian authorities face uncomfortable questions concerning the recent disappearance of another journalist, Vasyl Klyment’ev, who like Georgiy Gongadze was known for his courageous journalistic investigations. He is officially categorized as a “missing person”, but hopes of finding him alive appear forlorn, even by his colleagues who have sought to investigate his disappearance themselves. Plainly, in Ukraine the profession of journalist is not only stressful, but also dangerous to the lives of those who take it up.

The journalists who have become the targets of this deliberate and deadly violence are generally those who devoted their energies to investigating criminal matters in the public interest. They were killed because of their dedication to finding out the truth, for their incorruptibility and fearlessness. In most cases, they became targets of assassination not after their discoveries were published or screened on television, but during the period when they were collecting the incriminating evidence for their work. There are also some exceptions to that rule, cases when threats of violence or acts of violence against journalists have followed publication of critical articles or TV or radio reports.

Full text of the report you could see here.
See the option Ukraine

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