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Corruption and government control limit Ukraine's ability to meet free expression guidelines

Завантажуйте українську версію релізу тут.

The Ukrainian government has failed to fulfill its pledge to protect the freedom of expression, and corruption and poor ethical standards increasingly plague Ukrainian media, concludes a report issued today by Freedom House. The findings cast doubt on the government's commitment to allow Ukrainians to freely express themselves and for the media to function as an effective check on government and business.

“Not only is the government not doing enough to protect journalists and guarantee a free media, it is also maintaining rigid control over thousands of outlets” said David J. Kramer, president of Freedom House. “Ukrainian authorities should allow citizens to freely express themselves. The government should promote media transparency and should get itself out of the media business.”

One Step Forward, One Step Back: An Assessment of Freedom of Expression in Ukraine during its OSCE Chairmanship assesses developments in 2013 during Ukraine's Chairmanship in Office (CIO) of the OSCE in the area of freedom of expression. The report found limited progress by Ukraine in meeting its obligations, largely due to:

  • poor implementation of existing laws and delays in reform;
  • inadequate protection of journalists and journalists’ rights;
  • government control over the media;
  • government-business corruption in the media; and
  • poor ethical standards on the part of journalists.
  • Recommendations include reforms in the law on media ownership transparency, official recognition of journalists who work outside of traditional media outlets, and improved protection of journalists’ rights and physical security.

“This should have been a banner year for Ukraine, especially as chair of the OSCE, but instead it turned out to be filled with missed opportunities” said Kramer. “Improving the climate for freedom of expression requires political will, and that has been sorely lacking.”

Ukraine is rated Partly Free in Freedom of the World 2013, Partly Free in Freedom of the Press 2013, and Free in Freedom on the Net 2013.

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