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Journalists and human rights defenders have learned safe work rules in the ATO zone

The staff of the Center for Documentation of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union took part in the training on work safety in the ATO zone for press, organized by the Ministry of Defense.

Between 9 and 11 March, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine held the training on safety for journalists and human rights defenders, while covering events in the ATO zone. Representatives of different Ukrainian media, such as 1+1, 112 Ukraine, Human rights in Ukraine, ICTV, 2+2, Hromadske Radio, Mariupol Television and others participated the training. Upon completion of the course, the Ministry of Defense accredited journalists. The Human Rights sector took part at the initiative of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union. Representatives of most organizations, who have attended the training, are members of the “Justice for Peace in Donbas” coalition, namely the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group. The participants were also members of the NGO «Truth Hounds» and the Center for Legal and Political Research “SIM.”

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The theoretical part of the training consisted of lectures at the National Defense University of Ukraine. Among the topics covered during the course were legal aspects of ATO, personal safety of activity and presence of journalists in a combat zone, use of military terminology in journalistic and other materials.

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The final part of the training was the practice at the Desna training center of the Army Armed Forces of Ukraine.

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Participants learned to stop bleeding caused by injury during shelling.

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Learned how to find hidden explosive objects.

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Practiced how to behave during the shelling.

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And tried dishes of the field kitchen.

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The journalists received accreditation passes for coverage of events in the ATO zone.

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Trainees shared their impressions of the training.

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Serhii Movchan, an analyst at the Center for Documentation of UHHRU:

“The overall impression about the course is quite positive. However, during the training, it became clear that there was rather overloaded theoretical part that did not give any real training for action in the ATO zone. If the focus of the training were shifted to more practical skills, it would have much more qualitative effect for journalists and human rights defenders. However, on the third day, there was the very interesting element of the training, which, nevertheless, helped to learn the basics of care and also provided certain practical advice on how not to get into the traps, laid by sappers. ”

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An employee of the NGO “Truth Hounds,” engaged in documenting war crimes in the near front-line zone:

“I think the training was interesting. I liked the fact that the Armed Forces of Ukraine cooperate with journalists and are willing to give them some information and to ensure their safety. There are a lot of work, but I like that this dialogue is established. We had a lot of useful regarding how to behave during hostilities in the area of fighting in case of such attacks and stress, how to behave, let’s say, in captivity.

I think it have been useful for us to learn something like this. We hope for further cooperation with the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and journalists in order to work efficiently in a combat zone, the near front-line area. ”

Text and photos by Ivan Shelehov (UHHRU)

 

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