Ukraine’s parliament readmits reporters for first time in two years

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) welcomes the decision by Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) to readmit journalists for the first time since Russia’s invasion in February 2022, when they were barred on “security grounds.” The decision to again allow on-the-spot coverage of this key component of democratic life signals a return to normality for parliamentary reporters and is part of an overall improvement in the environment for journalists in Ukraine, RSF says.

Viacheslav Shtuchnyi, the secretary-general of Ukraine’s unicameral parliament, has confirmed that the first batch of press accreditations are being issued. On 5 May, between 20 and 30 reporters will be able to resume covering the parliament’s sessions. Nearly 4,000 journalists had parliamentary accreditation before the war.

“This is a major step forward for the right of access to freely reported news and information. However, it will be necessary to ensure that accreditations are distributed fairly in order to safeguard pluralistic coverage. We welcome this progress and we ask the Ukrainian authorities to go further by also restoring live broadcast coverage of the parliament’s sessions, which existed before the war.

Jeanne Cavelier
Head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk

Negotiations on the readmission of journalists to parliament began at the end of 2023 under the leadership of the head of the parliamentary committee for freedom of expression, Yaroslav Yurchyshyn. Press freedom suffered restrictions in Ukraine as a result of measures taken in response to the Russian invasion, including the proclamation of martial law, but encouraging progress has been seen of late.

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