Parliament rejects bill on protecting journalists



The Institute for Mass Information reports that the Verkhovna Rada has refused to support draft Law No. 2508 On State legal safeguards of journalists’ professional work. The bill received only 27 votes.

The bill proposed amendments to the Criminal Code and specifically Article 171.  These would have increased criminal liability for obstructing journalists’ professional work by means of more severe penalties, from fines to 5 years imprisonment for deliberately causing a journalist light or medium severity injuries in connection with his or her professional activities. The bill also proposed a term of 5 to 10 years imprisonment for severe injuries, and 8 to 15 years for an attempt on the life of the journalist or his / her relatives in connection with professional activities

It is not clear why the bill received such a catastrophically small number of votes however the problem is not in the lack of penalties per se, as in the fact that Article 171 is virtually never applied. 

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