Ukraines National Union of Journalists creates a Crisis Centre for Help to Journalists
In the present difficult political situation, the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, together with the Ukrainian Association of Media Lawyers, the IREX Ukrainian Media Program for Legal Defence and Education, has opened a crisis centre to assist journalists.
This follows the Resolution from 2 April 2007 “On preventing measures which threaten constitutional law and order, public peace and stability in Ukraine”. In the note to this, the attention of the media and authorities is drawn to “the inevitability of legal liability for the issuance or execution of a manifestly criminal ruling or order” as per Article 60 of the Ukrainian Constitution*
The Union states that every day up to and including the day of the elections, journalists can turn for legal assistance in resolving professional issues by ringing (044) 235-33-31, 234-21-02, 234-23-57, or writing to email@example.com і firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Unions press service stresses that in publishing laws, acts of the President of Ukraine and the Cabinet of Ministers, the media, including official publications, are acting in accordance with Ukrainian legislation; are carrying out their professional duty and are safeguarding citizens constitutional right to information.
* It may be helpful under the circumstances to see the Article in full:
No one is obliged to execute rulings or orders that are manifestly criminal.
For the issuance or execution of a manifestly criminal ruling or order, legal liability arises.
This was cited in the Resolution issued by (a part of) the Verkhovna Rada after President Yushchenko announced that he was dissolving Parliament.
The Union stresses that any attempt to stop the media from publishing acts issued by the President or the Cabinet of Ministers are in contravention of Article 30 of the Law on Information, and can be seen as an attempt to introduce censorship.