Nikita Trachuk
31 December 2021 11: 10
Headings: News Society

So much for freedom of speech: 145 attacks on journalists occurred in Ukraine in a year

Not a very encouraging end to the year.

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So much for freedom of speech: 145 attacks on journalists occurred in Ukraine in a year

In the outgoing 2021, 145 attacks on journalists and 197 cases of obstruction of freedom of speech were recorded in Ukraine. Appropriate monitoring was carried out Mass Information Institute; he prepared annual report.

So, for the whole of 2021, 197 cases of violation of freedom of speech were recorded in Ukraine. Of these, 145 cases are physical aggression against journalists, that is, attacks on members of the press, as they say, “on duty”.

In particular, 99 cases of obstruction of legitimate journalistic activities, 24 cases of specific physical beatings and bodily harm, 18 cases of restricting access to public information, 16 cases of cybercrime (leaking personal data of journalists) were documented.

The most common manifestation of physical aggression against journalists remains. This is 74% of all cases of obstruction of freedom of speech. Among the main reasons that experts point out are quarantine restrictions, corruption and an aggressive attitude towards the publication of its facts, the closeness of power and impunity for attacks on the press. For example, out of all available cases of attacks on the “fourth power”, only 10 ended in court verdicts. In addition, the experts of the Institute of Mass Information record an increase in cases of censorship, both from the authorities and from the owners of certain media.

For the sake of objectivity, we note that there is some positive dynamics. For example, in 2020, the Institute of Mass Information registered 229 cases of violations of freedom of speech, of which 171 were attacks on journalists.

An attentive reader by this time could already notice some dissonance: in the list of crimes against freedom of speech there is not a word about the closure of three TV channels associated with Medvedchuk by Zelensky’s decision, there is nothing about sanctions against the Strana and Shariy.Net publications, about ""hit" list of "pro-Russian" TG-channels, where our publication Klymenko Time is in the first place and finally oh recently closed two more channels of Medvedchuk - and on the basis of the decision of the National Security and Defense Council, the meeting of which at that time had not even taken place. None of these egregious cases of censorship was recorded in the experts' report, as if this did not happen or it was something completely insignificant.

Such selective "blindness" is not at all surprising: the sponsor of the Institute of Mass Communication and this particular study is the notorious USAID - the United States Agency for International Development. Simply put, IMI is a grant project that exists for the money of the American government and, of course, pursues certain goals in the interests of its donors and patrons. In this context, it is understandable why they notice the persecution Yuri Butusov, rude live to the president of the country, but point-blank they do not see that in Ukraine, with one stroke of the feast, entire media holdings are being liquidated. Such is the selectivity of "grant-eaters" in matters of freedom of speech.

Previously, we wrote about two more media closed by Zelensky, and this time even without the actual meeting of the National Security and Defense Council.

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