The Prosecutor General and Ministry of Internal Affairs will look into pressure on journalists
8 August 2006 The Ukrainian National Union of Journalists (UNUJ) is inviting the Prosecutor General of Ukraine and the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) from August to October to consider issues involving pressure on the mass media and journalists. This was stated by the Head of the Union, Ihor Lubchenko at a press conference held today. Mr Lubchenko announced that the Ukrainian National Union of Journalists had suggested that the Prosecutor General and the MIA over the said period analyze all incidents involving different forms of pressure exerted on the media and journalists – physical, psychological and material. After this, in November and December it is suggested that the results of this analysis be discussed at a meeting of the Prosecutor General and the MIA, with the participation of representatives of the UNUJ.
Lubchenko stated that for its part the Union of Journalists was creating a special website “Attack on freedom of speech: chronicle of crimes and reaction from the authorities”, which will provide information about all incidents of conflict between the press on the one hand, and the authorities, businesspeople or criminal elements, on the other.
At the same press conference, the Deputy Prosecutor General, Tetyana Kornyakova commented that over 2005-2006 the number of complaints concerning pressure exerted on them from journalists to the Prosecutor Generals office was significantly lower than in 2003 – 2004. She noted in particular that over the last two years not one journalist had been killed. Ms Kornyakova informed those present that all incidents were under the personal control of the Prosecutor General. She reported that over the period mentioned, five criminal investigations had been launched over incidents involving the violation of journalists rights when carrying out their professional duties.