Ukrainian court rules to block access to 17 online media

On 23 July, the Pechersk District Court of Kyiv (Ukraine) ruled to block access to 17 online media, including news portals and bloggers platforms korrespondent.net, enigma.ua, trident-ua.info, and informator.news. The owners of the closed websites have lodged an appeal. Their lawyers have denounced the delaying tactics that have so far prevented the appeal court from ruling. The court justified the closure of these news websites by the fact that they disseminate texts relating to slander or defamation. The judgment requires to restrict access not only to potentially harmful material, but to the entire content of these website. The National Union…

Ukraine: radical nationalists stormed press conference at Ukrinform

On 30 July, about a dozen men dressed in T-shirts with the inscription “Tradition and Order” violently entered the press center of the Ukrinform news agency in Kiev, Ukraine, during a press conference of parliamentary candidates. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its member National Union of Journalists of Ukrain (NUJU) in condemning the incident. After entering the building, the group broke the door to the press-hall and damaged the equipment and furniture. The group started to push and beat Ukrinform staff members. they also threw eggs and poured water on an independent candidate from the town of Pokrovsk…

Ukraine: who killed journalist Vadym Komarov?

Journalist Vadym Komarov died in the early hours of 20th June, a few weeks after he was attacked and left in coma in May in the city of Cherkasy, Ukraine. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) join their affiliate, the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU), in condemning the murder and urging authorities to carry out a thorough investigation into this despicable crime and bring the perpetrators to justice. Vadym Komarov was known for his investigations and his hard hitting reporting on local authorities. Komarov reported on corruption and organised crime in Cherkasy and had been attacked before,…

Ukraine: EFJ and IFJ condemn violent attack on journalist Vadym Komarov

Ukrainian investigative journalist Vadym Komarov is in a coma after being assaulted by an unidentified person on 4th May. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) join their affiliate the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) in condemning the attack and urge the Ukrainian authorities to ensure a safe working environment for journalists and bring those responsible to justice. According to the police, Komarov was attacked early in the morning on 4th May as he was walking in the city centre of Cherkasy, Ukraine. He was severely beaten and hospitalised. The police have launched…

World Press Freedom Day: IFJ and EFJ stand up for safe and independent elections coverage

To mark World Press Freedom Day on 3rd May, journalists from across the world are joining forces to launch tips for safe and fair coverage of elections at a time when politicians and their supporters are increasingly turning their fire on reporters. The EFJ supports IFJ campaign exposing the abuse of power, disinformation, internet shutdowns, self-censorship, harassment and violence as ongoing challenges facing journalists when reporting elections. The campaign is calling on governments to ensure a safe working environment for journalists to allow them to report with full objectivity, impartiality and balance and on all politicians not to stigmatise media. This…

Ukraine: Kherson daily “New Day” tear-gassed and shot during press conference

On 18 January 2019, during a press conference hosted by the press club of the daily “New Day” (Novyi Den) in Kherson, Ukraine, the newspaper came under attack from assailants using rubber bullets and tear-gas from outside the building, before entering. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its member in Ukraine, the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU), in strongly condemning this attack endangering Khersonian journalists’ lives. “We demand a thorough investigation and that the culprits be swiftly broad to justice for no lesser charges than an armed assault on a newspaper,” said the EFJ General Secretary Ricardo…

Ukraine: EFJ and IFJ condemn Russian jailing of journalist Roman Sushchenko for espionage

UPDATE 12.09.2018: On 12 September, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation upheld the verdict delivered by the Moscow City Court to Ukrinform journalist Roman Sushchenko, who was sentenced to 12 years in a high-security prison. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) have urged the Russian authorities to release a Ukrainian journalist given a 12-year sentence for alleged espionage. Roman Sushchenko was sentenced to 12 years in a high-security prison on 4 June 2018, after he was found guilty of spying by a Moscow court. The EFJ-IFJ joined its affiliates the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) and the…

Ukraine: court grants access to information from two investigative journalists’ phones

Courts in Kyiv, Ukraine, have granted the Prosecutor General’s Office access to information of mobile data provider of two investigative journalists. This decision is linked to an ongoing investigation against Artme Sytnyk, head of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), in which a group of journalists are involved as witnesses. On 27 August, the Pechersk District Court of Kyiv granted access to text messages, calls and location logs from the phone of journalist and editor-in-chief of an investigative TV show  “Schemes. Corruption in detail”, Natalie Sedletska. On 5 September, a court in Kyiv has ruled an analogous decision concerning information from the…

EFJ calls again for immediate release of Donetsk journalist Stanislav Aseev

UPDATE (21/08/2018): Ukrainian media and human rights organisations issued a statement today to condemn the so-called “interview” with detained journalist Stanislav Aseev aired by Rossiya 24. ————– Russian television channel Rossiya 24 has aired on August 17 an interview with kidnapped journalist Stanislav Aseev, in which he “confesses” to working for Ukrainian intelligence in Donbass. The interview has raised concerns that Aseev, who has been illegally imprisoned in Donetsk for over a year, was coerced into confessing to false espionage charges. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) has said it considers the “confession” of spying for the Ukrainian government given by Stanislav Aseyev “to…

Ukraine: Turkish journalist under threat

A Ukraine-based Turkish journalist has told the International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) he fears for his safety after his name appeared on an “abduction list” published by local media. The IFJ and EFJ have called on the Ukrainian authorities to take urgent action to protect Yunus Erdogdu, founder and owner of the first Turkish language news website in Ukraine, following the detention and deportation of another journalist earlier this month. On July 12, Turkish journalist Yusuf Inan was detained by Turkish intelligence services in Ukraine accused of being a member of the Gulenist movement which the authorities claim…

Increasing violence against journalists in Ukraine

The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) just released the outcomes of its “Ukraine’s Journalists Physical Safety Index”. The situation remains worrying in the country: from January to November, NUJU registered 85 physical attacks against journalists. In 14 cases (16%), journalists were attacked by public officials, including members of the Parliament. In 8 cases, journalists were attacked by policemen or members of the State Guard. The president of NUJU, Sergiy Tomilenko, raised the issue of increasing violence during a seminar organised by the The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Odessa, on 29 November. Tomilenko…

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