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IMI Reports on Free Speech Violations in February 

March 6 The Institute of Mass Information (IMI) reported 18 cases of violations of freedom of speech in February 2020; they reported 19 cases in January.

Thirteen of the incidents in February were in the category of physical aggression against journalists, while eight were in the category of preventing journalists from carrying out their professional work (several of the cases were listed in both categories mentioned above).

Among the examples of violations named in the IMI report were:

• Vlasta Lazur, journalist of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty informed IMI that journalists met resistance from the president’s team while they attempted to cover an event President Zelenskyy attended;

• journalists told IMI they were put under surveillance by the police while they filmed the investigation called “Smuggling King,” about Ukrainian businessman Vadym Alperin; and

• journalists told IMI about police pressure they experienced when they investigated the incomes of national police management. Bihus’ editors said police launched a criminal proceeding and started interrogating investigative journalists as a result of this reporting.

More on the website of the Institute of Mass Information in Ukrainian.