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Parliamentary Committee Drafts Resolution Following Parliamentary Hearings on Journalist Security 

December  9 The Parliamentary Committee on Freedom of Speech registered draft resolution #2541 on recommendations of the parliamentary hearings on the topic “Security of Journalistic Activity in Ukraine: Current Status, Challenges and Solutions.”

The hearings took place on November 6, 2019, and the draft resolution asks Parliament to pass the recommendations and invites the Minister of Internal Affairs, the Prosecutor General, the head of the National Police, and the Director of the State Bureau of Investigations to report to the committee on the status of investigations related to the murder of journalists and the prevention of journalists from their professional activity.

According to the resolution, the Cabinet of Ministers must inform Parliament before June 1, 2020, about how parliamentary hearing recommendations are being implemented.

In line with other issues, Parliament is asked to decide whether to officially register online news services as media, as currently online outlets are not recognized as official media according to the law. Parliament is also asked to decide what defines the work of a journalist compared to other media figures such as TV show hosts; this request was prompted by cases such as that of ex-President Viktor Yanukovych’s former lawyer Andriy Portnov, who is now claiming to be a journalist because he hosts a program on Viktor Medvedchuk’s pro-Russian 112 Ukraine TV channel.

The document also contains several recommendations to the President of Ukraine, the Prosecutor General, the Minister of Internal Affairs, the National Police, the State Bureau of Investigation, the Supreme Court, the Ombudsperson on human rights, the headquarters of the Joint Forces Operation, media organizations, and newsrooms.

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