MENU
Documenting
war crimes in Ukraine

The Tribunal for Putin (T4P) global initiative was set up in response to the all-out war launched by Russia against Ukraine in February 2022.

Similar articles

71-year-old Ukrainian seized on fake 'spying' charges dies in Russian captivity Huge mass ‘sentences’ after fake trial of Ukrainian POWs whom Russia accused of its own war crimes Russia tortures nine Ukrainians from Kherson for grotesque ‘international terrorism trial’ Referral network. Design and functioningRussia refuses to return bodies of Ukrainian teenagers it killed in occupied Berdiansk Nine Azov Regiment prisoners of war sentenced by fake Russian court to 25 years for defending UkraineUnending imprisonment in reprisal for young Crimean Tatar’s refusal to take Russian citizenshipRussia passes breathtakingly lawless 18-year sentence against Ukrainian POW defending Mariupol Russia is hiding renowned Ukrainian POW & rights activist Maksym Butkevych in occupied Luhansk oblast Russia fakes trials and life sentences against Ukrainian POWs to rewrite the facts about its war crimes and destruction of Mariupol Foiled by Finland, Russia forces asylum seekers to fight its war against Ukraine Russia is holding around four thousand Ukrainian civilians prisoner, torturing most of themUkrainian POW 'sentenced' to 19 years, with Russia claiming he planned to ‘violently seize power’ by defending Mariupol Prominent rights activist and journalist Maksym Butkevych vanishes after Russia ‘sentences’ him to 13 years for defending Ukraine Abducted RIA-Melitopol and Melitopol is Ukraine Telegram administrators tortured for Russian propaganda ‘blockbuster’Research: Russia’s biolab lies may be a cover for its own crimesRussia’s killing of over 50 Ukrainian POWs at Olenivka was a “show execution” – former Azov defenderRussian torture of Ukrainian civilians and POWs is clearly state-endorsed policy – UN Rapporteur The Tribunal for Putin has published the first legal assessment of genocide in UkraineFinland detains Russian neo-Nazi ‘Rusich’ leader wanted for war crimes in Ukraine

Access to information a real problem for Ukrainian journalists

26.09.2008    source: www.helsinki.org.ua
“First prove that the information is public, and then we’ll tell you if you can receive it”

At a roundtable organized by the Institute for Mass Information [IMI], its Director Victoria Sumar was blunt about the problems journalists confront. She said that in the majority of cases they either receive no response, or a formal fob-off, not addressing the issue. A major problem is that officials don’t understand that very often journalists need the information here and now.

Ms Syumar gave several examples where the authorities had failed to respond to requests for information in prominent cases.  When President Yushchenko bestowed a State award on the former Prosecutor General Potebenko, journalists addressed a request for information to the President’s Secretariat. They asked for explanation as to how a person who had stalled the investigation into Gongadze’s killing had deserved this honour. The answer came after 7 months (instead of the legally stipulated month): “He was given the award because the Prosecutor General’s Office applied for it”.

The Treasury chose not to reply at all to a request for information regarding where the money from the sale of “Kryvorizhstal” had been transferred to.  There was similarly no reaction to a question to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the lack of official reaction to the notorious scam over the “Hitler doll”.

Ms Syumar recommends filing suits with the court in such instances in order to create a precedent. After all the more journalists win court cases and have officials behaviour declared unlawful, the easier it will be to work further.

Maryana Demkova from the Centre for Political and Legal Reform believes that the new draft law “On access to public information” will provide a way of changing the situation. She points to the stipulation in the draft law of a much shorter timescale with officials being obliged to respond to information requests in 5 days. The draft law also envisages measures to protect those providing information and does not impose payment for providing information.

However Volodymyr Yavorsky, Executive Director of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union believes that this draft law could in fact worsen the situation. He points to the name of it: “On access to public information”, which could add yet another task for those wishing to receive information, that being to prove that it is “public”.

He also suggested following Slovakia in establishing liability for not providing information or not in timely manner. In Slovakia officials can be fined for this.

 Share this