“Journalists in Ukraine are facing risks every day, while doing their work in the East of the country, during the quarantine and covering important topics. We believe that all crimes against journalists have to be investigated in a good quality and as quickly as possible. We are committed to it. Journalists are our allies and help in our work with their investigations,” said the Head of the National Police of Ukraine, Igor Klymenko, speaking at the high-level online discussion “Safety of journalists and countering impunity for the crimes against journalists in Ukraine” on 5 June.
The discussion was organised by the Joint Project “EU and Council of Europe working together to support freedom of media in Ukraine” (JP-Media) with participation of the Head of the National Police of Ukraine, Igor Klymenko, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, Ambassador, Matti Maasikas, First Secretary of the Embassy of Sweden in Kyiv, Louise Morsing, Head of Political and Foreign Policy Program at the Embassy of Canada in Ukraine, Rouslan Kats, Deputy head of the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine, Olena Lytvynenko, officials of the Prosecutor General Office of Ukraine, the National Police and representative of media civil society organisations.
In their opening addresses, Ambassador Matti Maasikas, Louise Morsing and Rouslan Kats stressed that freedom of media and safety of journalists are indispensable for building democratic society in Ukraine and encouraged the authorities to use the Council of Europe expertise in this area.
During an open dialogue, the participants exchanged information about status of investigation of offenses against media professionals and discussed proposals for joint activities, particularly possibility for creation of the Quick Response Mechanism for the protection of journalists in Ukraine in the form of information portal, explaining the rights of journalists and showing map of infringement of journalists’ professional rights. The leadership of the law-enforcement agencies of Ukraine stressed the importance of proper investigation of crimes against journalists and committed for cooperation in this area. The idea was raised and supported by the participants, to establish an inter-agency working group in Ukraine to coordinate and exchange information on investigations of crimes against media professionals. The JP-Media will support and facilitate this coordination between the law-enforcement agencies and civil society.