Publication

Freedom of expression

Section prepared by Volodymyr Yavorskyy, member of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union (UHHRU).

 

  1. Rights of journalists and mass medias

On March 28, 2015 came into force the Law “On ensuring the right to a fair trial” according to which journalists and mass media are allowed to use portable video facilities for recording of the court sessions without consent of the court.[1] Till that time it was allowed to use only audio facilities (for example, voice recorder) and all video and photo facilities could have been used only with consent of the court. Although in practice judges often do not know about these changes or ignore them it is already clear that after a while there will be fewer limitations for journalist activities in courts.

On May 14 the Parliament adopted the Law “On amending some laws of Ukraine concerning strengthening of guarantees for legal professional activity of journalists”[2]. In accordance with this Law the Criminal Code was added in particular with the following crime components:

  • 345-1 “Threats or violence against a journalist”;
  • 347-1 “Intentional destruction or damage to property of a journalist”;
  • 348-1 “Infringement on life of a journalist”;
  • 349-1 “Taking journalist as a hostage”.

Also this Law specified legal components of the crime “obstruction of a journalist’s activities”[3].

According to data of the Institute of Mass Information (IMI) as of November 2015[4]:

– ІМІ transferred to the MIA 329 cases for 2014-2015 concerning investigations and aggression against journalists, photographers and operators;

– after studying these cases it was revealed that 136 journalists had not appealed to law enforcement authorities that made it harder to investigate such cases;

– the MIA transferred to courts 17 cases 7 of which are connected with the art. 171 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (obstruction of legal professional activity of journalists) and one case connected with the art. 345-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (threats or violence against a journalist);

– the Office of Public Prosecutor transferred to courts 3 cases connected with beating of journalists during Maidan times (1 battery in Kyiv on December 1, 2013, 1 – in Dnipropetrovsk, 1 – in Cherkasy).

In other words as of November 2015 in courts were at least 11 cases connected with aggression against journalists (in 2014 there were 6 such cases and in 2013 – 5), however, there are many questions connected with quality of court sessions and decisions.

At the same time for 10 months of 2015 IMI registered 52 acts of aggression against journalists, 84 acts of obstruction of legal professional activity of journalists.

The most dangerous place for the Ukrainian journalists for the time are the AR of Crimea and Donbass.

According to the data of the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine during 2015 in Ukraine died 8 journalists – the Ukrainian as well as foreign ones.[5]  Most of them were killed in ATO zone and more than 40 media workers were being held captive in 2015.

 

  1. Public broadcasting

On April 10, 2015 come into force the amendments to the Law on public broadcasting[6] adopted by the Parliament on March 19. These amendments were promoted by the public and were a victory in the struggle for independence of the editorial policy of the broadcaster. These amendments edit some provisions of the Law concerning determination of mechanism of creation of the National Television Company of Ukraine (NTCU), its organizational and legal form, sources of financing, conditions of remuneration of work of employees, protection of property rights of the NTCU and interests of its labour collective, improvement of activity of its control bodies, procedure of formation and principles of activity of the supervisory and editorial boards.[7] Practically these amendments ensured a possibility to create the real public television and radio broadcasting in Ukraine.

On July 7 the National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting announced the decision which defines a new procedure for conducting conferences of non-governmental organizations and associations during which the members of the supervisory board NTCU should be elected. The supervisory board has been formed till the end of 2015 and its composition is quite capable to ensure the editorial independence of the broadcaster.

 

  1. Digital broadcasting

Till the end of 2015 Ukraine still has not completely moved to the digital broadcasting platform. During forum “Digital broadcasting in Ukraine” [8] the people’s deputy О. Chervakova named three causes of retardation of moving to digital broadcasting: corruption with the cost of tuners which now cost 60 USD instead of 30 USD as in the neighbor countries; lack of funding from the state budget and monopoly of company “Zeonbud” that was confirmed in 2015 by the court decision of the Anti-Monopoly Committee.

In return on August 20 during session the National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting reviewed the project of decree of the Cabinet of Ministers No.815 “On amending the Plan of use of the radio-frequency resource of Ukraine” that was presented by the State Service of Special Communication and Information Protection of Ukraine. It was approved the decision to change the final date of shutdown of analogue broadcasting in Ukraine to June 30, 2018.[9]

During the forum O. Bolshakova from the Independent Association of Broadcasters stated that the shutdown of the analogue broadcasting is prevented by: absence of the governmental influence on the operator and absence of alternative digital networks; absence of digital licenses by a row of TV companies; absence of access to digital broadcasting by a majority of population (coverage and equipment).

In this context the following two cases presented by the European Court of Human Rights on May 4 are very important – the case “TRK Era vs. Ukraine” (application No. 24064\13) and the case “Municipal television and radio broadcasting company “Chernivtsi” vs. Ukraine” (application No. 55592/13).[10]

Both applications are connected with violation of rights of the applicants during issue of licenses for digital broadcasting in 2011. These television and radio broadcasting companies had current licenses for analogue broadcasting valid till spring 2017. However by moving to digital broadcasting the National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting conducted new competition for regional digital broadcasting, both applicants participated in this competition but they were refused in licenses.

These cases are very important while actually they are the only legal mechanism of the possible revision of results of licensing at the time of moving to digital broadcasting.

 

  1. Restriction of the freedom of expression due to decommunization

On April 9, 2015 the Parliament Parliament adopted the Law of Ukraine “On conviction of Communist and National Socialist (Nazi) totalitarian regimes in Ukraine and the prohibition of propaganda of their symbols”, which[11]:

1) bans propaganda of communist and/or National Socialist (Nazi) totalitarian regimes;

2) bans the symbols of communist and/or National Socialist (Nazi) totalitarian regimes according to the list provided, including:

– any images of state flags, crests and other symbols of the USSR, Ukrainian SSR, other members of the Union or autonomous Soviet republics within the USSR, or so-called “people’s democracies”;

– anthems of the USSR, Ukrainian SSR, other members of the Union or autonomous Soviet republics within the USSR, or fragments of them;

– flags, symbols, images or other representing a hammer and sickle together; a hammer, sickle and 5-pointed star; a plough, hammer and 5-pointed star;

– images of the Communist Party slogans, quotes of individuals, who held senior positions in the Communist Party;

– symbols of the communist party or its elements and others..

3) bans the creation and orders the forced termination of any legal entity propagating communist and/or National Socialist (Nazi) totalitarian regimes or uses their symbols.

By propaganda of communist and / or National-Socialist (Nazi) totalitarian regimes, the Law specifies 3 separate actions:

1) public denial, including via the media, of the criminal nature of the communist totalitarian regime of 1917-1991 in Ukraine; the National Socialist (Nazi) totalitarian regime;

2) circulation of information aimed at justification of the criminal nature of the communist, National Socialist (Nazi) totalitarian regimes, the activities of the Soviet Security Services; the establishment of Soviet power on the territory of Ukraine or in individual administrative-territorial units; the fight against participants in the struggle for Ukraine’s independence in the XX century;

3) preparation and/or circulation, as well as the public use of products which contain the symbols of the communist, National Socialist (Nazi) totalitarian regimes.

The Law bans the preparation, circulation, and the public use of symbols of the communist totalitarian regime, including souvenirs, symbols of the National Socialist (Nazi) totalitarian regime, public performance of the anthems of the USSR, Ukrainian SSR, other members of the Union or autonomous Soviet republics within the USSR, or fragments of them. Such activities are punishable by deprivation of liberty for 5 to 10 years with or without confiscation of property, if these actions are committed by a representative of the authorities, or repeated, or committed by an organized group, or with the use of the media.

This ban does not apply to use of symbols:

1) in museums;

2) in theme-based exhibits;

3) in academic, educational manuals, textbooks and other material of an educational and academic nature (on condition that this does not lead to denial of the criminal nature of the communist totalitarian regime of 1917-1991 in Ukraine; the National Socialist (Nazi) totalitarian regime) in the course of academic research and the circulation of its results in manners not prohibited by Ukrainian legislation;

4) on gravestones; monuments and memorial plaques in graveyards (cemeteries);

5) during the teaching or reconstruction (including historical) of historical events, as well as on the collecting of such symbols.

According to the mentioned above this Law also prohibits the broadcasting by TV or radio broadcasters of audio-visual material which:

1) contains a denial or a justification of the criminal nature of the communist totalitarian regime of 1917-1991 in Ukraine; the National Socialist (Nazi) totalitarian regime;

2) creates a positive image of people who held leading positions in the communist party, starting from the posts of secretary of a district committee and higher, the higher bodies of power and government of the USSR, Ukrainian SSR, other Soviet republics (except for cases linked with the development of Ukrainian science and culture), employees of the Soviet bodies of State Security;

3) justifies the activities of the Soviet security services;

4) justifies the establishment of Soviet rule on the territory of Ukraine or in specific administrative-territorial units;

5) justifies the fight against participants in the struggle for Ukraine’s independence in the XX century.

The prohibition for broadcasting of audio-visual materials (any films, TV programmes, transmissions or their parts, commercials, music videos, advertising, etc.) as well as restriction of preparation and use of communist and Nazi symbols is an unconditional illegal restraint from the state.[12] The Law provides the possibility of severe restrictions on freedom of expression.

On the basis of this Law on August 25, 2015 the Ministry of Justice denied in reregistration of the printed media “Комуніст (Communist – Ukrainian spelling)” and “Коммунист (Communist – Russian spelling)” which wanted to change their titles to “Лівий марш (Route march of leftists – Ukrainian spelling)” and “Левый марш (Route march of leftists – Russian spelling)” accordingly.

In December the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe in its conclusion strongly criticized the legislation concerning decommunization.[13]

 

  1. Restrictions of the freedom of expression due to armed aggression of Russia

Restrictions connected with the armed aggression of Russia in Ukraine may be conveniently classified into three groups:

  • Restriction in the sphere of television and radio broadcasting

On June 4 came into force the Law of Ukraine “On amending certain laws on the protection of television and radio space of Ukraine”, which prohibits:[14]

– distribution and demonstration of films that contain popularization or propaganda of bodies of the aggressor state (the Russian Federation) and their individual actions that form a positive image of the aggressor state’s workers and officers of the Soviet state security bodies and justify or admit as lawful occupation of the Ukrainian territory, produced after August 1, 1991;

– broadcasting (demonstration by means of showing by broadcast channel) of any films produced by physical or juridical persons of the aggressor state (the Russian Federation) after January 1, 2014;

– broadcasting of TV programmes produced after August 1, 1991 that contain popularization or propaganda of bodies of the aggressor state and their individual actions justify or admit as lawful occupation of the Ukrainian territory;

– broadcasting of audio-visual materials (any films, TV programmes, exept informational and analytical ones), one of the character of which is the person included in the List of the persons who constitute threat for the national security that is published on the web-site of the Ministry of culture of Ukraine (this list is formed on the basis of appeals of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, the Security Service of Ukraine and the National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting). Thus a character of an audio-visual material is considered to be a person who participated in its creation under his/her own name (pseudonym) or as a performer of any role, a performer of a musical work used in such audio-visual material, a scriptwriter and/or texts or dialogs, production director, producer.

The law establishes the criteria for the recognition of audio-visual materials that include popularization or propaganda of the authorities of the state-aggressor and their individual actions:

– among positive characters of the film are the workers (including former or non-regular ones) of the authorities of the state-aggressor, the Soviet security services;

– plot of the film is directly or implicitly connected with activity of the authorities of the state-aggressor, the Soviet security services and such activity is presented in the film as positive;

– in plot of the film is directly or implicitly denied or prejudiced the territorial integrity of Ukraine, it contains a justification or a positive presentation of the occupation of the territory of Ukraine, acts of aggression from the side of other states, initiation of war, it propagates exclusivity, superiority or inferiority of persons on grounds of their religious beliefs, belonging to certain nation or race, sex, economic class, social origin.

Distribution and/or demonstration of the prohibited films should be punished with fines in amount of 10 minimum wages (since December 1, 2015 – 13 thousand and 780 UAH) for every violation made for the first time and in amount of 50 minimum wages (since December 1, 2015 – 68 thousand and 900 UAH) for every following violation. Decision about imposing fines should be made by the Ukrainian State Film Agency that should approve the appropriate procedure of imposing fines. If such violations are made by television and radio broadcasting companies then the National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting should identify them, draw up corresponding reports and present these reports to the Ukrainian State Film Agency for imposing fines.

During three months after this law came in force there was identified broadcasting of more than 50 films and TV series that fell within the scope of this law. However, implementation of the law has been slowed because of lack of clarity particularly in part of determination of the date of production of the film.[15]

On October 6 the Ministry of culture published the first list containing 40 persons who constitute threat for the national security[16]. According to the above mentioned law these persons are not allowed to participate in making films and TV programmes.

 

  • Persecution in Ukraine of certain individuals which are considered to be connected with the Russian aggression.

In connection with the Russian aggression the law enforcement authorities act completely unpredictable in relation to the persons who express separatist or excessively critical judgments about the actions of the government. Though in case of real separatism the legal reasons for official reaction very often actually exist[17], the state authorities by their excessive reactions too often connive to public appeals to separatism that leads to that their reaction looks like a total intimidation.

The situation is worsened with the general informational closeness of the Security Service of Ukraine and to a considerable extent the impunity of the workers of the Security Service of Ukraine.

In October the workers of the Security Service of Ukraine attacked journalists and later disguised as counter terrorism actions and with the purpose of non-disclosure of their workers the Security Service of Ukraine demand from the journalists to take the programme off the air[18]. The official investigation is still in process but the given video materials fully confirm the words of journalists about illegality of actions of the workers of the Security Service of Ukraine.

In February the Security Service reported publicly that criticism of mobilization could be the reason for criminal proceedings according to the art. 114-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (“Hindering legal activity of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and other military units in the special period”)[19] that is the example of unreasonable and unprofessional broad interpretation of the law.

Criminal actions should be clearly described so the person could foresee his/her behavior. It is clear that the mobilization can be assessed critically in any society and especially when the process of it has a lot of gaps and inaccuracies from the juridical point of view. In other words in this case there exist an opportunity for criticism which can not be considered as crime in any democratic country. Even the personal refusal to take part in mobilization made publicly can not be qualified as a crime according to this article.

By virtue of stated facts the position of the Security Service of Ukraine more than once was a target of criticism of lawyers and human rights activists.

 

The case of Ruslan Kotsaba

From this point of view the case of Ruslan Kotsaba from Ivano-Frankivsk is the most resonant one.

On January 17 and later on January 26, 2015 Kotsaba published in Youtube two video messages in which he criticized the mobilization and declared that he declined from mobilization.[20]

On February 7 he was summoned to the Security Service of Ukraine where he was notified on suspicion of committing crimes according to part 1 of the art. 111 (“High treason”) and part 1 of the article 114 (“Hindering legal activity of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and other military units in the special period”) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. There he was arrested without any prior decision of the court[21]. On February 8 the local court of Ivano-Frankivsk imposed for him a pre-trial restraint by means of 60 days of arrest.

This provoked a storm of criticism from human rights groups although some members of the public justify actions of the government[22]. In particular the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union considered him to be a political prisoner[23] and the Amnesty International considered him to be a prisoner of conscience and demanded to set him free immediately[24]. The commissioner for human rights V. Lutkovska said that such restriction of liberty as in the case of R. Kotsaba is impossible in a democratic society[25]. The Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine said that despite the ambiguity of actions of R. Kotsaba the criminal prosecution against him sets a precedent when every journalist or social activist can be accused in high treason for statements that contradict the official position of the government[26].

On February 14 the Appeal court rejected an appeal concerning change of the measure of restraint for Kotsaba[27] and on March 27 Kotsaba was indicted officially[28]. On charges of high treason the blogger is facing imprisonment for the term of 12 to 15 years with confiscation of property or without it, on charges of hindering legal activity of the Ukrainian Armed Forces – imprisonment for the term of 5 to 8 years. As stated in the indictment according to results of the forensic linguistic examination the appeals to refuse the mobilization “are one of the forms of sabotage against Ukraine connected with worsening of its defensive capacity under current circumstances“. According to results of the investigation among actions pursued by these two articles of the Criminal Code there are the following:

  • distribution of two video messages;
  • delivery of mobile phone number of one of the Ukrainian soldiers to Russian journalist who later tried to receive a comment of this soldier;
  • appearance in TV programme on the Russian TV channels “Perviy kanal”, “Rossia 1”, NTV;
  • preparation of reports for the Russian TV channel NTV in villages of Ivano-Frankivsk region.

According to report of the investigation there is no victim in this case. Also there was not found any person who refused the mobilization after appeals of Kotsaba.

In fact it is clear that the actions of Kotsaba do not constitute any crime provided by the Criminal Code.

During 2015 the term of his arrest has been prolonged several times and now he is imprisoned.

It was conducted 11 sessions in this case in all during which there were interrogated 37 of 58 witnesses. At the last court session Kotsaba called it “the clownery”, “deliberate procrastinating of the legal process”, “defamation of the very principle of justice” because in average there were interrogated two-three witnesses pro month[29].

In fact until now the prosecution has not presented any significant evidence in this case. For example during one of the court sessions there presented only three witnesses of 8 who were not personally acquainted with Kotsaba, fought in the ATO zone and considered declarations of Kotsaba to be “outrageous”. On 18 August the court heard four witnesses three of which were inhabitants of village Korshiv of Kolomyyskyy district (Ivano-Frankivsk region). In this village Kotsaba canvassed public opinion and recorded the interviews. These people were angered with a fact that title of the video distributed in Internet contained words about their “readiness to kill”.

 

  • Journalists’ activity in ATO zone

On October 20 the Ministry of defence presented the new system of cooperation with public journalists and media professionals. With the purpose of “facilitation” of work of public journalists and media professionals (accredited by the Security Service of Ukraine) concerning coverage of anti-terrorists operation the Ministry of defence presented weekly application for work of the journalist given on Wednesdays instead of the daily one. In this application should be written full name of the journalist, sectors, model and registered number of car and numbers of press cards. Earlier till amending these rules the journalists have to inform the ATO press center about their plans for the next day till 18:00 of the previous day which also led to criticism from the side of some media professionals.

This new procedure was repeatedly criticized by journalists, media trade unions and organizations because due to such procedure it was impossible to cover emergency cases in ATO zone. [30]

 

  1. Denationalization of mass media

On November 24 the Parliament adopted the long-awaited law “On reforming state and municipal print media”[31]. After signing this law the President sustained the years-long claims of the public concerning necessity of denationalization of mass media and bringing this sphere into compliance with the European standards.

The law provides the privatization of state and municipal print media that should be in 2 stages: during one year and two years accordingly. This reform should be made by means of secession of state and local government authorities from founders of printed media or by means of transformation of such media in official printed media.[32]

 

  1. Ensuring pluralism of mass media and transparency of media ownership

On October 1, 2015 came into force the Law on transparency of media ownership[33] adopted by the Parliament on September 3. The project has been for a long time promoted by the public and presents a really good effort to make the media market of Ukraine transparent. Although the law requires certain clarifications and its effectiveness depends on how it will be performed by the television and radio broadcasting companies and the National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting the law in general is quite progressive and its results should appear in spring 2016.[34]

 

  1. Recommendations
    • To cancel the procedure of registration of permissions for printed media that does not comply with requirements of the article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights[35].
    • To set free Ruslan Kotsaba and to dismiss all charges.
    • To cancel the Laws “On order of coverage of the activities of state authorities and bodies of local self government in Ukraine by the media” and “On state support for the mass media and social protection of journalists” and at the same time to provide cancellation of certain benefits for journalists of state mass media and to equate them in rights with journalists of non-governmental mass media. To initiate development of the draft law on the rights and social protection of journalists.
    • To introduce the ban on sponsorship of news programmes.
    • To amend the Law on television and radio broadcasting with the purpose to bring it into compliance with the standards of the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the European Union as well as ratified by the Parliament European convention on transfrontier television.
    • To ensure quick and transparent investigation of all applications concerning aggression against and death of journalists as well as cases of obstruction of journalists’ activities.
    • To liquidate the State committee of television and radio broadcasting and the Ministry of Information Policy by means of the draft law amending the Constitution of Ukraine.
    • To make the following amendments in the Law on decommunization:
  • to narrow the list of communist symbols and to make it exhaustive giving the color images of the mentioned symbols;
  • to allow the use of such symbols in art, science and other “non-political” spheres;
  • to prohibit the use of communist and Nazi symbols for the purpose of propagation of communism and nazism;
  • to prohibit completely the use communist and Nazi symbols by state authorities and with commercial purposes;
  • to cancel restrictions concerning titles and names for juridical persons as well as concerning communist symbols;
  • to cancel penalty in the form of imprisonment by replacing it with a soft sanctions in the best variant – to introduce the administrative responsibility for corresponding violation. At the same time it is necessary to narrow down the list of elements of such violation.

 

[1] http://zakon0.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/192-19.

[2] http://zakon5.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/421-19.

[3] For more details ref.: Siumar and Chervakova clarified provisions of the Law about strengthening the punishment for obstruction of a journalist’s activities, http://www.telekritika.ua/pravo/2015-05-14/107090.

[4] http://imi.org.ua/.

[5] http://nmpu.org.ua/2015/05/nmpu-zaklykaje-v-den-svobody-presy-zhadaty-zahyblyh-ta-postrazhdalyh-zhurnalistiv/.

[6] The Law of Ukraine “On amending some laws of Ukraine about public television and radio broadcasting of Ukraine”, http://zakon5.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/271-19.

[7] Detailed analysis of the Lwa ref.: The Law of Ukraineа “On public television and radio broadcasting”, Medai Law Institute, http://medialaw.org.ua/analytics/zakon-ukrayiny-pro-suspilne-teleradiomovlennya/.

[8] https://www.facebook.com/dtvforum/.

[9] It is planned to stop analogue broadcasting in Ukraine till the middle of 2018, http://www.telekritika.ua/rinok/2015-08-20/110294.

[10] http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng?i=001-155072.

[11] http://zakon2.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/317-viii.

[12] Detailed analysis of this Law ref.: Analysis of the Law on Prohibiting Communist Symbols,  http://www.khpg.org/en/index.php?id=1430564974.

[13] Ref. Joint Interim Opinion on the Law of Ukraine on the condemnation of the communist and national socialist (Nazi) regimes and prohibition of propaganda of their symbols, http://www.venice.coe.int/webforms/documents/?pdf=CDL-AD%282015%29041-e.

[14] http://zakon2.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/159-viii.

[15] For more ref.: The first three months of banning Russian films: results of the round-table discussion between broadcasters and regulators, http://www.telekritika.ua/pravo/2015-09-04/110845; The National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine reviled problems with fulfillment of the Law on banning Russian TV series, http://www.telekritika.ua/pravo/2015-06-12/108171; The Head of the  National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine reports that TV channels find opportunities to evade ban of Russian TV series, http://www.telekritika.ua/pravo/2015-08-20/110285.

[16] Available here: http://mincult.kmu.gov.ua/control/uk/publish/article?art_id=244966871&cat_id=244966805.

[17] For example ref. Editor of one of Odessa web-sites was found guilty in separatism and sentenced to three years in prison, http://www.telekritika.ua/pravo/2015-09-09/110984.

[18] For more details about this case ref.: The secret autopark of the Security Service of Ukraine (“СХЕМИ (SCHEMES)” | Issue No. 60), http://www.radiosvoboda.org/content/article/27308714.html; Security Service of Ukraine tries to take the programme about elite cars of their workers off the air, http://blogs.pravda.com.ua/authors/tkach/561ff3c78f095/; Office of Public Prosecutor opened an occurrence against the Security Service of Ukraine in connection with assault on journalists of “Schemy”, http://www.radiosvoboda.org/content/news/27307727.html.

[19] Ref. the Security Service of Ukraine assures: it will bring to responsibility only those who conduct the anti-mobilization campaign in social networks, http://www.telekritika.ua/pravo/2015-02-24/104124; Security Service of Ukraine threaten with prison to authors of anti-mobilization posts in social networks (completed), http://www.telekritika.ua/pravo/2015-02-23/104113.

[20] For the video ref.: Ruslan Kotsaba // Internet campaign “I decline from mobilization”, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ve_AJRn-HJA; Ruslan Kotsaba // The second video message on mobilization, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLrozTa_oDE.

[21] Blogger Kotsaba who had opposed mobilization was arrested for 36 hours (completed), http://www.telekritika.ua/pravo/2015-02-08/103454.

[22] Arrest of blogger Ruslan Kotsaba for 60 days is differently assessed by the lawyers, http://www.telekritika.ua/pravo/2015-02-09/103474; Ruslan Kotsaba. Liar that should be set free, http://www.telekritika.ua/daidzhest/2015-02-12/103636.

[23] Human rights activists call the arrest of Ruslan Kotsaba the political persecution, http://helsinki.org.ua/index.php?id=1423569823.

[24] Persecution of persons for their public position concerning conflict in Ukraine is unacceptable, http://amnesty.org.ua/nws/peresliduvannya-lyudej-za-gromadyansku-pozitsiyu-shhodo-konfliktu-v-ukrayini-ye-neprijnyatnim/.

[25] Valeriya Lutkovska: “Such restraint of liberty as in the case of Ruslan Kotsaba is impossible in a democratic society”, http://www.ombudsman.gov.ua/ua/all-news/pr/10215-nm-valeriya-lutkovska-take-obmezhennya-svobodi-yak-u-spravi-ruslana-kotsa/.

[26] Independent Media Trade Union Of Ukraine said that the arrest of Ruslan Kotsaba sets a dangerous precedent despite the ambiguity of his actions, http://www.telekritika.ua/pravo/2015-02-09/103489.

[27] Appeal court kept Ruslan Kotsaba in custody, http://www.telekritika.ua/pravo/2015-02-14/103734.

[28] The full text of the accusation ref.: Ruslan Kotsaba is accused in high treason and in hindering legal activity of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (document), http://www.telekritika.ua/pravo/2015-03-30/105519.

[29] In Ivano-Frankivsk the court has continued the arrest of Kotsaba till January 25, http://www.radiosvoboda.org/content/news/27389311.html.

[30] For more ref.: Media workers Media professionals reacted ambiguously to the new procedure of acreditation of the journalist in ATO zone, http://osvita.mediasapiens.ua/media_law/journalist_rights/mediyniki_neodnoznachno_postavilisya_do_novogo_poryadku_akreditatsii_zhurnalistiv_u_zoni_ato/; Ministry of Defense of Ukraineintroduces new rules for journalists who work in ATO zone, http://osvita.mediasapiens.ua/media_law/government/minoboroni_vprovadzhue_novi_pravila_dlya_zhurnalistiv_u_zoni_ato/.

[31] http://w1.c1.rada.gov.ua/pls/zweb2/webproc4_1?pf3511=52548.

[32]  Infographic of the Medai Law Institute.  For more details ref. Denationalization of printed mass media: dum spiro spero, http://osvita.mediasapiens.ua/media_law/law/rozderzhavlennya_drukovanikh_zmi_dum_spiro_spero/; Experts of the Reanimation Package of Reforms discussed the importance of implementation of legislation on reforming of the state and municipal press, http://medialaw.org.ua/news/eksperty-reanimatsijnogo-paketu-reform-obgovoryly-vazhlyvist-implementatsiyi-zakonodavstva-pro-reformuvannya-derzhavnoyi-ta-komunalnoyi-presy/; Expert analysis of the draft law “On denationalization of state and municipal printed mass media”, http://osvita.mediasapiens.ua/media_law/law/ekspertniy_analiz_zakonoproektu_pro_rozderzhavlennya_komunalnikh_ta_derzhavnikh_drukovanikh_zmi/.

[33] The Law of Ukraine “On amending some laws of Ukraine concerning ensuring transparency of media ownership and realization of principles of the state policy in the sphere of television and radio broadcasting”, http://zakon5.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/674-viii.

[34] Ref. How the law on transparency of media ownership should be executed: juristic commentary + infographic, IMI, http://imi.org.ua/analytics/51354-yak-vikonuvati-zakon-pro-prozorist-mediavlasnosti-yuridichniy-komentarinfografika.html. Also ref.: The law on transparency of media ownership: shall we know who is who, http://osvita.mediasapiens.ua/media_law/law/zakon_pro_prozorist_mediavlasnosti_chi_diznaemosya_khto_komu_rabinovich/; What do we need transparency of media ownership for?, http://medialaw.org.ua/analytics/navishho-nam-prozorist-media-vlasnosti/.

[35] More details ref. the Special report of representative of the OSCE on freedom of the media Miklos Haraszti “Registration of mass media in region of the OSCE: observations and recommendations” dated March 29, 2006.

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