Ukraine Improves Legislation on Media Freedoms - President Yanukovych
KYIV, Ukraine, September 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
The government has been constantly improving legislation that is related to the principles of access to public information, said President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych in his speech at the opening of the 64th World Newspaper Forum and the 19th World Forum of Editors in Kyiv (September 2-5, 2012). Those public officials who impede access to public information will face administrative and criminal charges, assured head of state.
In his address the Ukrainian president stressed that because of the soviet heritage, country's young age, political and economic crisis there is still a false stereotype regarding the lack of freedom of speech in Ukraine.
Currently, the Ukrainian parliament considers the amendments to the Administrative Code, Criminal and Civil Codes, Code of Administrative Procedure and some 53 laws. The amendments are to increase administrative and criminal responsibility of a government official for violating the principles of freedom of press, speech and right to information. The amendments also include the introduction of the unified list of corrupt officials which will be made available to the general public.
In 2011-2012 Ukraine reported progress on freedom of press and speech, right to information and protection of journalists' rights.
In July of 2011, in response to the increasing interest of international community on the status of Ukrainian press freedom, the government established the Working Group on Journalists' Rights Protection. The Group's mission is to analyze cases of violations of the freedom of speech legislation in a timely manner and make suggestions to the president on how to resolve the problems
In January of 2011 Ukraine adopted the Law on Access to Public Information. It was rated as one of the top ten laws on access to public information among 89 countries according to Right to Information Rating of the Centre for Law and Democracy. Reportedly, since the law came into force the executive bodies have responded to more than 33 000 informational requests.
The law guarantees access to public information with regards to human rights and press freedom. The law identifies what data is confidential and provides that all information produced by the public bodies, excluding the confidential data. The law also regulates the issue of protection of journalists.
SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine
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