Cases of censorship and obstruction triple
According to Institute for Mass Information data for the first 6 months of 2013 the numbers of cases of censorship or obstruction in Ukraine were almost three times higher than for the same period in 2012 (103 against 37).
There were also 35 cases where journalists were subjected to physical aggression as opposed to 12 for the same period in 2012; 26 cases of legal pressure via law suits against media sources and journalists (against 5); 22 cases of indirect pressure (against 4).
Oksana Romanyuk, IMI Director told Тиждень.ua that there had been a sharp increase in obstruction and pressure on the media during the second half of 2012. They linked this with the elections and assumed that the figure would fall in December or January, reaching the same level as in the first half of 2012. This has not happened and, she points out, the number of such cases is quite high.
In the second half of 2012 there were: 159 cases of obstruction of journalists and of censorship; 55 – of assaults and beating; 28 cases of indirect pressure; and 43 law suits.
Media experts believe that the increase in the number of attacks and assaults on journalists is linked with the coming Presidential elections in 2015.
Since the attack on Olha Snitsarchuk and Vlad Sodel on 18 May there have been nine calls from international organizations for the authorities to protect media workers in Ukraine.