Adoption of bill No. 2166 is the great victory of human rights defenders

Seven months of fight for the law on forcibly displaced persons, then another year of fight for adoption of this law in a perfect form, and then a victory! On November 3, 2015, the Parliament of Ukraine adopted our bill No. 2166. The law that all this time was being prepared by human rights organisations in cooperation with UNHCR and members of parliament. Currently, compromises are abandoned and we have an exemplary law fully complies with international standards.


The freedom of speech in the ATO zone: how cases of deaths, pressure and harassment of journalists are investigated?

Human rights defenders claim: journalists’ activity in the East of Ukraine is restricted both by illegal armed groups and state institutions that hinder the professional work of media staff and censor their information. Apart from that, there are numerous cases of beating, unlawful arrests, detention, and even murders of journalists.


Ukraine: lawyer Andriy Visnevsky wrongfully disbarred for exercising freedom of expression

The ICJ is concerned at the recent disbarment of lawyer Andriy Vishnevsky, Director of the Coordination Centre of Legal Aid of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine.


Human Rights Activists: Creation of the Ministry of Information Policy Officially Introduced Censorship

On December 2, 2014 a new threat of creation of the Ministry of Information Policy was added to the traditional threats to human rights, which the Ukrainian community continues to face in these difficult times of challenges associated with the hostilities in the Eastern Ukraine and occupation of Crimea by Russia. Formally declared motive of its creation is to protect the Ukrainian information space of Russian propaganda and to fight an information war in the other states, but in reality, this ministry has to become an institutionalized body of state control over the freedom of speech, an official censor, which aims to set standards of media and to monitor compliance with these standards.


Human Rights Activists Demand from Ukrainian Border Guards to Comply with the Law

In the Crimean Field Mission on Human Rights, the reception of the Centre for Civic Education "Almenda", the reception of Crimea SOS, and other public organizations obtain numerous complaints of citizens of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (ARC), perturbed by the actions of Ukrainian border guards. We are talking about the “special attitude”, shown by the border guards to the citizens of the Crimea and Sevastopol when crossing the administrative border of the ARC.


NGOs express concern over freedom of speech in Ukraine

On the eve of Journalist Day, 6 June, human rights organizations have issued a statement expressing concern over the escalating assault on freedom of expression and reduction of other fundamental freedoms in Ukraine.


Watch your words!

A defamation suit presently underway in Severodonetsk has largely escaped media attention. Given the amount of virtual ink shed over recent days analyzing Yanukovych’s rebooted Cabinet of Ministers this would seem most unwise. If the suit is successful, it could be a precedent of grandiose proportions with ramifications not only for journalists, but for all those political analysts intrepid enough to voice an opinion about political influences on the new government.


Defamation suit against Committee of Voters representative

On 20 November Yuliy Ioffe lodged a defamation suit demanding 1 million UAH moral damages against the Head of the Luhansk Regional Branch of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine [CVU] Oleksy Svyetikov. The politician objected to an article by Svyetikov published back on 12 February this year. The article stated that Ioffe is a member of the group around Dmytro Firtash and the head of the President’s Administration Serhiy Lyovochkin.


Yet another Ukrainian exile gets political asylum abroad

The former owner of Prostoprint, the firm which produced T-shirts with the ironical slogan “Thank You, Residents of Donbas” reports that he and his family have been granted political asylum in Croatia.


Nikopol journalist links grenade incident with his journalist investigations

Freelance journalist for the newspaper Nikopol City, Ruslan Solovyov believes that a grenade was hurled into his courtyard as retaliation for his attempts to investigate corrupt set ups in the city’s communal services.


Apparent UNIAN response to censorship allegations

UNIAN says that it has made a number of staff changes following conflict over allegations of censorship. In fact the only change mentioned is that the Chief Editor is being moved elsewhere for the period of an internal investigation.


UHHRU Statement regarding Censorship at UNIAN

The Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union is concerned over the encroachment on freedom of speech at the website of the UNIAN information agency.


Don’t censor coverage of the destruction of the Bilychansk Forest!

Civic organizations who have been trying to defend the Bilychansk Forest for several years now are calling on media managers to stop putting pressure on journalists and censoring the issue.


TVi disappears in four more cities

Volya Cable has disconnected the independent TV channel Tvi from its universal programme in four cities – Poltava, Kherson, Simferopol and Sumy. Oleksandr Pivnyuk from the channel says that the disconnection came without warning meaning TVi has lost two-thirds of its subscribers in those cities.


Uncontrolled snooping versus “universally accepted European practice”

Ukraine’s media have reported that President Yanukovych is “inclined” to sign the Law on a Unified State Demographic Register and Documents which confirm citizenship, identify a person or their special status and that representatives of the EU have said that they cannot comment since they have not been sent the draft law.

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