“In fact, during the first three months of this year, the journalists were attacked by a third more than in 2020,” NUJU Chairman Serhiy Tomilenko noted.
The majority of the incidents took place in February, three cases occurred in January and four in March.
Mostly, there are attacks tied with aggressive interruption of the fulfillment of the editorial tasks by mass media workers and freelance journalists.
The circumstances of particular attacks show the planned intention of revenge for publication of “unfavorable” materials. Thus, in February 10, in Odesa, an aggressive company attacked the camera crew of Syomyi Kanal (Channel 7) and threatened with physical violence against journalists who filmed footage at Pivnichny market about the tax-free sale of cigarettes.
The investigation of this attack became a precedent of operative investigation and punishment for crime against journalists. On February 18, 2021, the Suvorivsky district court of Odesa recognized guilty a person in the commitment of the criminal infraction and gave a sentence in the form of the restriction of liberty for two years.
The violent beating of a journalist by an official was observed in Cherkasy. In Kyiv, a cameraman was bitten on his arms; in Berdiansk – spit in the face was observed; while in Vinnytsia, a finger of a journalist was broken.
Besides, the damage of the journalists’ property was observed: a window was broken with a stone of Olha Ferrrar’s car from Rivne region; the car was burnt of the founder of dtp.kiev.ua portal Vladyslav Antonov; while the burning mixture was thrown near the house of journalist and activist from Donbas Artem Sotsenko.
The NUJU is indignant at significant physical aggression against journalists. However, it is noted that police response to appeals of the media workers is operative. The profession of a journalist remains dangerous and guardless in Ukraine.
Earlier, the Reporters Without Borders collected the statistics of detained, missing or captured journalists. It stated that almost 400 journalists are jailed. More than half of the journalists are imprisoned in China, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Vietnam, Syria.
As we reported, 25 cases of physical aggression against the Ukrainian journalists took place during three months of autumn in 2020. During the last four years, it is the largest number of incidents that occurred in autumn; the lowest number was observed in 2019 (16 cases), in 2017 – 21 incidents, in 2018 – 23 incidents.