Championing Free Expression in Ukraine
Freedom House works to support civil society activists, media, and citizens in advocating for expansive freedom of expression in Ukraine.
Strengthening Champions for Free Expression in Ukraine in a Time of Conflict
Freedom House works to support civil society activists, media, and citizens in advocating for expansive freedom of expression (FOE) in Ukraine in order to galvanize government actors to develop policy that upholds respect for international standards of FOE. Freedom House and its partners support journalists, civil society activists, and others to develop the capacity and nuanced understanding to take collective action to protect FOE. Freedom House also develops and leverages a considerable body of evidence to support FOE advocacy and defense, ensuring that FOE is defended from the local courtroom up to parliamentary hearings.
Monitoring Violations of Freedom of Expression
Freedom House partner the Institute for Mass Information (IMI) is Ukraine’s leading local FOE advocate and regularly monitors and reports on FOE developments in Ukraine. Under this project, IMI maintains a network of 10 regional representatives and monitor violations to FOE at the national and local levels, producing regular reports based on its monitoring. IMI also provides extensive consultations to journalists on legal and ethical matters they encounter in their work and provides regular analyses of laws, policies, and cases connected to FOE. IMI also maintains its Barometer of Free Expression and Media Watch Network (MWN)
Advocacy for Freedom of Expression
Freedom House and partners work to establish collaborative relationships with local authorities and the police to address the crisis of violence against journalists. Through extensive collaboration with traditional and new media, educational and training programs, and domestic and international human rights advocacy, Freedom House partner ZMINA Human Rights Information Center contributes to a growing knowledge and respect for human rights across sectors in Ukraine. Under this project, ZMINA produces news, TV and radio broadcasts, and other materials on national and regional stations covering FOE policy challenges and solutions.
Under this project, Freedom House supports independent researchers based in Ukraine for forward-looking briefs that focus on media and human rights issues.
In January 2020, Freedom House published its first policy brief in this series, titled “Investigative Journalism and Its Role in Ukraine’s Democracy.” Written by local analyst Oleksandr Yaroshchuk, the brief outlines the role of investigative journalism in Ukraine’s democracy, as well as the obstacles that journalists face in the course of their work. It concludes by emphasizing the need to protect journalists from harassment and intimidation and the necessity of media and other organizations to document and report such incidents.
In January 2021, Freedom House published its second policy brief, “Art and Freedom of Expression in a Time of Conflict in Ukraine.” The brief, written by Cedos analyst Liliana Filipchuk, details the increasing restrictions to freedom of artistic expression in Ukraine and the main actors responsible for artistic censorship. In particular, the brief determines the extent to which such restrictions are justified and proportionate given Ukraine’s national security interests and international obligations to uphold human rights.
Legal Assistance to Journalists
With a strong network of lawyers across Ukraine, Freedom House partner Human Rights Platform (HRP) provides direct legal assistance to journalists and media promptly and efficiently. HRP has played a leading role in assessing laws’ and policies’ consistency with domestic and international FOE standards, intervening in controversial FOE cases, and providing analysis on the balance between FOE, digital rights and national security, and territorial integrity and sovereignty. Under this project, HRP provides full-spectrum legal assistance to journalists, activists, and others in FOE cases, including court representation as necessary, and engages with professional journalists, bloggers, freelancers, and government officials to educate them on FOE.
Click here for HRP’s new Guidebook on Reporting on Conflict-Related Cases, which contains an analysis of Ukraine’s national legal framework and international standards relating to limitations on FOE in times of armed conflict.
Ukraine: Law Enforcement Must Respond to Open Threats of Hate-Fueled Violence
August 31, 2020
Ukraine: Law Enforcement and Policymakers Should Take Swift Action to Protect Journalists
August 18, 2020
In Eastern Europe and Beyond, a Dearth of Guidance on Regulating Disinformation
July 8, 2020
Ukraine: Ensure Journalists’ Safety and the Public’s Right to Truth
Testimony and remarks
June 30, 2020
Ukraine Should Not Deport Asylum-Seeking Activist to Kazakhstan
May 21, 2020
Ukraine: Prisoner Exchange Welcome, but Reveals Unfulfilled Demands for Justice
January 9, 2020