Reuters December 03, 2013 BRUSSELS — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged the Ukrainian government on Tuesday to “listen to the voices of its people” after President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to spurn an agreement with the European Union sparked days of massive protests. Kerry said Ukrainians had demonstrated “in unbelievable numbers” their support of…
Freedom of Speech
The Ukraine is moving towards Europe now. Yanukovych choose this vector circumstantially, due to pressure from Russia and his unwillingness to subordinate to Russia. We are supporters of European integration, we do not want this process to been disrupted. However, Europe should be aware of the fact that Yanukovych seeks to control the media, to restrict the freedom of speech. Only the pressure of the journalist community and the international organization may keep him within limits.
“Donbass News” and “Donetsk Truth” are two popular internet sites not controlled by the government authorities in Donetsk, have discovered that the group of unidentified agents are following their journalists. After those two sites have started investigative journalism projects in August and September, unidentified agents have followed the journalists even after they had intentionally changed their routes. Some of these persons were noticed near the houses where the journalists live.
Police brutality against journalists was a focus of attention of unions for long time. May 18 the police was calmly observing how two journalists were beaten in Kyiv; on July 19 the police attacked the journalists directly. Media unions consider the minister is not controlling his staff and demanding efficient investigation of police brutality from the Prosecutor General.
On Tuesday, President Aliyev signed a bill passed by the parliament that would criminalize defamatory and offensive views expressed on the internet. Now it is possible to launch a criminal case against online activists posting critical views on the internet referring to the Articles 147 and 148 of the Criminal Code, and jail them for up to three years.
The traditional spirit of resistance is bringing up the Ukrainians to fight for their rights again and again. Ukrainian journalists accumulated significant experience of such fights and could share it with colleagues from other countries that lack such success stories.
Biggest Ukrainian Journalists’ Unions Demand the Dismissal of the Minister of Internal Affairs of UkraineMay 18th, 2013 | By pani
Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Vitaliy Zakharchenko should make his staff to perform their duties or resign. This demand is a part of a petition by the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine (IMPUU) and the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) caused by the violent beating of a journalist of “5 channel” Olha Snitsarchuk and a journalist of “Commersant” newspaper Vlad Sodel.
Expression Online Initiative is deeply concerned by the prospect of the National Television and Radio Council’s (NTRC) to license online televisions, which is seen as an assault on Internet freedom. The Expression Online Initiative calls upon the government to refrain from developing and applying these practices as they are incompatible with the fundamental right to freedom of expression and freedom of internet.
Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine (IMTUU) cancels its participation in meetings of President’s Interagency Workgroup dedicated to the analysis of observance of the legislation on freedom of expression and the protection of journalists due to inefficiency of this body and its inability to protect our rights. We call our colleagues from other organizations to follow our example.
Vadym Osadchy, the Director General of UNIAN informed the editors of UNIAN website Lubov Zhalovaha and Valentyna Romanenko, that based on an official memo of a manager of UNIAN Internet projects Mykola Kondratenko both employees were fined 200 hryvnas ($25) each because of the fact of online news was pulbished titled “Picket at Bankova Street: Yanukovych was brought the shoe and a Christmas tree”.