Simferopol: Freedom of Speech exhibition “Under PRESSure” banned



The photo exhibition “Under PRESSure” initiated by the civic movement Stop Censorship has not been allowed in Simferopol. The exhibition opened on 18 September at the art café Marmelad. The very next day the café administration, giving no explanation, removed the photos and refused to let them be put up again. This was despite a prior arrangement to have the photos on display for the entire week. on 23 September a discussion was planned entitled Censorship in Ukraine: effective methods of countering it (the possibilities provided by the new Law on Access to Public Information).

The manager said that they had been “forced to stop the exhibition” but refused to elaborate.

Local journalists believe that the exhibition was stopped under pressure from the authorities. The Committee on Monitoring Press Freedom in the Crimea say that they doubt that the café owners would have taken the decisions by themselves. The Committee points out that this is especially strange given the recent statements by both the President and Prime Minister at the YES Meeting in Yalta asserting that there was no threat to freedom of speech in Ukraine.

The exhibition has been shown in 11 Ukrainian cities.  As reported, the idea for it arose during a meeting of members of Stop Censorship, civic activists and artists.  It was organized as a joint project of the civic movements New Citizen and Stop Censorship.  The organizer of the exhibition in Simferopol was the NGO Democratic Alliance.

Later on 22 September it was announced that the exhibition will take place but at a different venue – the art-café Stary Svet [Old World].

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