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Politics 2019-03-15T05:34:16+02:00
Ukrainian news
Court Judges Club Attack On A Journalist With UAH 680 Fine

Court Judges Club Attack On A Journalist With UAH 680 Fine

A court qualified the demand to the editorial staff of a local newspaper to bring stories “for approval” and the attack with a club on the editor-in-chief under Part 1, Article 171 of the Penal Code of Ukraine “Obstructing to journalists’ lawful professional activities” and punished with a UAH 680 fine ($26). The Zvenihorod District Court of Cherkasy Region made this decision in case No. 694/592/15-к.

Ukrainian News Agency wrote this in an article “It’s cheaper to beat a journalist than litigate” following analysis of the investigation into criminal cases for attacks on journalists.
The facts of the case, described in the judgement, are as follows: the local Shevchenkivskyi Kray newspaper in December 2014 published a story about volunteers, which affected the interests of the accused, an unemployed man engaged in volunteering.
As the Court found out, the man first called the editor-in-chief to his mobile phone when he was in his office, intimidated him and threatened bodily harm, using strong language. Then the man said that he would make the editor every day come to Zvenihorod Self-Defence and get his approval for all stories.
After a negative reply, the “self-defence member” took what the Court described as a “timber strip” (most likely a club) and went to the editorial office. He entered the editor’s office, delivered two blows at the editor’s shoulder and at the back of his head with that “timber strip” then turned and left.
The attacker did not admit his guilt during the trial. He only said that he had asked to correct the story. And the editor was allegedly threatening him with the head of the Zvenihorod District State Administration. But witnesses confirmed the fact of threats and the battery at the trial. And Internal Ministry reports told the same.
The tribunal adjudged the debaucher a UAH 680 fine under Part 1, Article 171 and a UAH 510 ($20) fine under Part 1, Article 125. Then it calculated two fines at once to be too much and chose the higher one.
As Ukrainian News Agency reported, following a scrutiny of statistics, 92% of offences against members of the media remain unpunished.
Only one in 12 cases on attacks on journalists and obstruction to the media work comes to trial.
And the charged offenders even after beating and damage to the costly equipment get away with with USD 20–50 fines.

This piece is part of the campaign to fight impunity for the offences committed against journalists.
Ukrainian News Agency is an official partner for the International Federation of Journalists and the National Union of Journalists in this campaign.