Die Organisation Reporter ohne Grenzen (ROG) veröffentlichte am 21.04.2020 ihren jährlichen Bericht zum Stand der Pressefreiheit in der Welt. Die Ukraine macht im Vergleich zum Vorjahr sechs Plätze gut und kommt auf Rang 96, die höchste Platzierung seit Jahren. Dennoch gebe es viele Probleme bezüglich der Pressefreiheit im Land und die Ukraine stehe am Scheideweg, so die Einschätzung von ROG. Erst Mitte April kritisierte ROG, dass im Rahmen der Berichterstattung zur Covid-19-Pandemie in der Ukraine journalistische Berichterstattung erschwert sei und Journalisten mehrfach attackiert wurden.
Statement von Reporter ohne Grenzen zur aktuellen Lage der Pressefreiheit in der Ukraine:
At the crossroads
Ukraine has a diversified media landscape and its authorities have adopted a number of long-awaited reforms since the 2014 revolution, including a law on media ownership transparency. However, these gains are fragile, as the new independent public broadcaster’s under-financing has shown. Much more is needed to loosen the oligarchs’ tight grip on the media, encourage editorial independence and combat impunity for crimes of violence against journalists. "Information warfare” with Russia has had negative consequences that include bans on Russian media and social media, the blacklisting of foreign journalists and treason trials.
The change of government and the hopes raised by Volodymyr Zelensky’s election as president have not as yet reduced the threats and attacks against journalists. The victims include Vadym Komarov, an investigative reporter who was fatally injured when attacked and beaten in May 2019 in the centre of Cherkasy, 180 km southeast of Kiev. Concern continues to focus on access to information, news manipulation, violations of the confidentiality of sources, cyber-attacks, and excesses in the fight against fake news (including a proposed anti-disinformation law that would threaten press freedom). The separatist-controlled east of the country is still a no-go area without critical journalists or foreign observers. Quelle: Website von Reporter ohne Grenzen, Externer Link: https://rsf.org/en/ukraine .
Wave of attacks on reporters covering coronavirus lockdown in Ukraine
After a wave of physical attacks or other acts of intimidation or obstruction of journalists covering the coronavirus lockdown in Ukraine, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the authorities to guarantee the safety of media personnel and to ensure that they are able to report on the coronavirus epidemic.
The latest targets include Alla Zhiznevska, a young ZIK TV reporter, and her crew, who were covering the lockdown in Kiev on 2 April when they were attacked by several men upset by the restrictions imposed during the quarantine. One of the assailants, who physically attacked Zhiznevska, was placed under house arrest on 7 April, but this has been the only arrest in the ten or so incidents targeting journalists since the lockdown was declared in Ukraine.
"The coronavirus crisis is being accompanied by an additional danger for Ukraine’s journalists, who have become a favourite target for the discontent of some members of the public,” said Jeanne Cavelier, the head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk.
"At the same time, it is disturbing to see local authorities using the lockdown to limit or control the media’s access to information that is of general interest. Access to information and journalists’ safety must be guaranteed, now more than ever. We deplore the lack of any reaction from President Zelensky and his government." All of the attacks against journalists have taken place in public and have been carried out by persons who clearly disagreed with the lockdown and mistrusted the media, which have received little support or protection from the authorities.
The latest victims also include Espresso TV reporter Dina Zelenskaya and her crew, who were doing a story on compliance with the lockdown by restaurants in Kiev on 2 April when they were attacked by a man who threw the crew’s camera and Zelenskaya’s phone into the River Dnieper.
In the western city of Chernivtsi, Galina Eremitsa, a reporter for the local news website Chernivtsi.Online , was attacked on 30 March by two Russian Orthodox worshippers who tried to break her camera. In the northwestern city of Lviv, a Pershiy Zakhiniy TV crew were filming in a store on 27 March when they were locked inside by the store’s owner. In the nearby Krasiliv region, a NewsOne TV reporter’s arm was broken by a face mask vendor on 25 March.
There have also been cases of harassment and obstruction not involving violence. Security guards prevented RFE/RL journalists from filming outside the Kiev Monastery of the Caves on 19 March. When Hromadske TV reporter Alina Sheremeta was filming at a store near the capital on 24 March, she was insulted and followed by a man.
Local authorities have used the lockdown as a pretext for denying some journalists access to meetings that are supposed to be public. This is the case in the east-central city of Kryvyi Rih, where the authorities have prevented independent media outlets from attending municipal council meetings "because of the quarantine” although the city’s own media were allowed to attend.
In the southern city of Nova Kakhovka, journalists were made to leave a council meeting on public health grounds when the council voted on its budget. In the nearby town Kakhovka, only two media outlets were allowed to attend a council meeting, while no media were allowed to attend a council meeting in the nearby village of Lyubimivka.
Quelle: Reporter ohne Grenzen, 10.04.2020, Externer Link: https://rsf.org/en/news/wave-attacks-reporters-covering-coronavirus-lockdown-ukraine