President signs dangerously flawed ‘decommunization’ laws
President Poroshenko has signed highly contentious laws one of which effectively criminalizes public expression of views held by many Ukrainians. The assurance given that a bill will be tabled to rectify some of the problems appears to refer to only one of the laws and begs the question of why faulty laws should be signed into law before being corrected
Concern over SBU searches and interrogation of Odesa journalists
Searches and interrogations were carried out on Thursday of journalists from the Odesa-based anti-government Internet publication Timer, including the Chief Editor, Yury Tkachov. The SBU appears to have launched a criminal investigation over alleged separatism
"Decommunization" Laws: Deeply Divisive and Destined for Strasbourg
If the President signs into force the “decommunization” laws, European Court of Human Rights judgements against Ukraine will be only a matter of time. The message given to a significant percentage of Ukrainians, especially in Donbas, will be that their views are not respected and must be changed.
Crimean “Patriots” called on to denounce opponents of annexation to FSB
Leaflets circulated in Simferopol are calling on “citizens of Russia” to report people who opposed annexation or who took part in the Crimean EuroMaidan to the FSB. While maybe not initiated by the FSB, the leaflets are quite in line with recent efforts to find ‘victims’ so as to prosecute opponents of annexation.
Well-known Crimean blogger summoned for interrogation
Ukrainian blogger and civic activist Liza Bohutska who was driven from her home in Crimea last September after a major search and hours of interrogation has been summoned by the FSB for questioning at the ‘Centre for Countering Extremism’ in Russian-occupied Crimea
Analysis of the Law on Prohibiting Communist Symbols
Volodymyr Yavorsky provides a detailed analysis of the draft Law ‘On condemning the communist and National Socialist (Nazi) totalitarian regimes and prohibiting propaganda of their symbols’ [hereafter, the Law]. He focuses on the degree to which the said bill complies with international human rights standards and practice in democratic countries.
CPJ: In Crimea, press freedom deteriorates at a rapid pace
The Committee to Protect Journalists has also expressed concern over the deteriorating situation with freedom of the press in Crimea since Russia’s annexation and calls on Vladimir Putin to ensure that it is reversed
Russian-occupied Crimea joins 10 world’s worst for press freedom
In its latest report Freedom of the Press 2015, Freedom House speaks openly of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and gives Crimea under Russian occupation a damning assessment on all rights, including freedom of expression.
Cameraman for silenced Crimean Tatar channel jailed over coverage of pre-annexation protest
The arrest of TV ATR cameraman Eskender Nebiyev is the latest in a ‘case’, breaching both Russian and international law, where the occupation regime is clearly targeting Crimean Tatars, including Akhtem Chiygoz, Deputy Head of the Mejlis, or Crimean Tatar representative assembly.
Crimean students fined for supporting Crimean Tatar channel ATR
Two underage students in Simferopol have received heavy fines for trying to make a video clip in support of ATR, a day before the only Crimean Tatar TV channel in the world was forced off air
Parliament ignores public opinion on Ukraine’s history. Will the President?
Ukrainians are divided in how they view their country’s history. This is confirmed by surveys, but has just been ignored by Ukraine’s parliament which decided it knows how the country’s history should be viewed. If the President does not veto laws just passed, it will become illegal to express other views on certain aspects of Ukraine’s recent history.
Crimean counter-extremism police search home of ex-ATR cameraman
On April 11 Amet Umerov, former cameraman for the recently silenced Crimean Tatar TV channel ATR was subjected to a search and questioning by officials from the Crimean Centre for Countering Extremism, with this apparently prompted by posts on the social network VKontakte
Stop Repression in Crimea!
The Ukrainian Center of the International PEN strongly protests against the rising tide of political repression in the Russian-annexed Crimea that encroaches upon basic rights and freedoms including those of speech, opinion, and access to information.
FSB detain another Crimean journalist
Tatyana Guchakova, former deputy chief editor of Black Sea News has been taken away by FSB officers in Yalta after a 10-hour search of her home
Crimean journalist interrogated in ominous ‘call to separatism’ prosecution
Fears that a new law brought in shortly after Russia’s annexation of Crimea would be used against journalists are proving well-founded. Former Centre for Investigative Journalism editor Anna Shaidurova was interrogated for 3 hours on Wednesday in supposed connection with a criminal case brought against journalist Anna Andriyevska over an article about volunteers helping the Krym Battalion in Donbas.
No Questions Asked? Court Releases Tetyana Chornovol’s Attackers
15 months after Tetyana Chornovol, then a EuroMaidan activist and well-known journalist, was savagely beaten and left for dead on the side of the road, two of the men arrested appear to have been convicted of the attack, but released from custody.
A Farewell to Government-Controlled TV?
During a televised presentation on April 7, President Petro Poroshenko signed a law which should hopefully make public broadcasting a reality in Ukraine, and the First National TV Channel [UTV-1] proved the point by switching to the new public broadcaster logo
Occupation Regime proposes “Day of Joy” instead of Crimean Tatar Deportation Anniversary
As well as lies about the forced silencing of Crimean Tatar TV ATR and plans to replace it with a malleable pro-regime clone, a top figure in Russian-occupied Crimea has proposed that the “cult” of May 18 – the anniversary of the Deportation of the entire Crimean Tatar People in 1944 should be stopped and Crimeans should instead celebrate a "day of joy"
‘Anti-terrorist exercises’ as latest intimidation of Crimean Tatars
‘Anti-terrorist exercises’ which clearly targeted Crimean Tatars; further efforts to silence independent voices coincided with plans to create a tame, pro-regime Crimean Tatar channel and the appointment of a former FSB spetsnaz officer with military experience in the Caucuses as head of Russia’s new minorities agency