Journalists boycott Crimean Parliament


Around 50 members of the mass media have declared a boycott and left the Crimean Parliament[1] buildings in protest at the imposition of new rules on media accreditation.

The journalists handed their joint statement to Crimean Parliamentary Deputy Tetyana Krasykova to have it announced in parliament, however the Speaker, Anatoly Hrytsenko refused to allow this. The journalists in response, with their mouths gagged walked out. .

Their statement explains that the new rules for media accreditation are in violation of a number of articles of Ukrainian legislation, in particular due to the demand that media representatives provide extra documents not envisaged by the law, and introduce numerous restrictions on media accreditation.

“These 2 points of the new rules effectively replace the procedure for registration of media representatives with a permission-based accreditation procedure which contravenes Articles 34 and 35 of the Constitution, Articles 5, 9, 29 and 43 of the Law on Information, and Articles 27 and 34 of the Law on Printed Mass Communication Media (the Press) …”, the document reads.

“Exercising our right to submit proposals to the authorities on improving their work, we are asking that the Deputies of the Crimean Parliament revoke certain points of the new accreditation procedure, and bring the text of that procedure into compliance with Ukrainian legislation, taking into consideration all comments made here.”

At the beginning of this week, the Crimean Parliament approved the new accreditation rules, according to which no more than 2 representatives of any given media outlet can receive permanent accreditation. The rules also state that video or audio recordings may only be made with the permission of deputies or employees of Parliament.

The new procedure also introduces new information about a media outlet which must be provided in order to receive accreditation and demands that journalists inform of their wish to be present at parliamentary sessions two days in advance.

8 December 2006

[1]  There is a Verkhovna Rada of the Crimea (the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea) – Parliament is used here consistently to avoid confusion with the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada (translator’s note)

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