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Freedom of Speech Barometer Summary for May of 2018

June 6 – The Institute for Mass Information (IMI) published the Freedom of Speech Barometer for May 2018 on its website. In May, IMI experts identified 29 freedom of speech violation cases in Ukraine in 13 oblasts. In comparison, there were 17 cases in April, 24 in March, 34 in February, and 13 in January.

Most of the violations (12 cases) were related to preventing journalists from conducting their professional activities. Violators were mostly private individuals, law enforcement officers, and local authorities. This category of violations increased slightly over the course of the year. In comparison, there were nine cases in April, nine cases in March, 18 cases in February, and five cases in January.

Most of the violations (13 cases) occurred in Kyiv City and Oblast. Dnipro, Donetsk, Mykolayiv, and Cherkasy Oblasts had two cases of violations each. Eight oblasts (Kirovohrad, Zakarpattia, Lviv, Rivne, Zhytomyr, Odesa, Chernihiv, and Poltava) had one case each.

IMI experts observed a growth in violations related to threats and physical attacks. In May, two cases of threats and six physical attacks occurred — the highest number of such cases since January this year. There was one case in April, five cases in March, two cases in February, and no reported cases in January. In May, the IMI also reported one case each of arrest, damaging journalists’ property, pressure, and censorship.

Since the beginning of 2018, IMI has found 53 cases of journalists being prevented from conducting their professional activities, 13 cases of threats, 14 cases of physical attacks, and nine cases of restriction of access to public information.

More on IMI’s website in Ukrainian.