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Ukraine keeps ranking “partly free” – Freedom House report

Kyiv, January 31, 2017.

Freedom House releases its “Freedom in the World 2016” report. Ukraine ranks “partly free” in it. Insufficient progress in crimes investigation of Yanukovych regime as well as threats to safety of journalists are among the key issues.  

Ukraine keeps holding the same position in the Freedom House ranking and is listed as a “partly free” country. While the government keeps reforming the country, there is little progress in investigating the crimes of Yanukovych regime. It was stated by Matthew Schaaf, Director of the representative office of Freedom House in Ukraine at a press-briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “Massive human rights violations continue in the territories that the Ukrainian government does not control, these violations remain with impunity,” he added.

After the murder of journalist Pavlo Sheremet, safety of journalists in Ukraine came into the spotlight. “Journalists were subject to violence and threats,” Schaaf said. Representatives of the LGBTI community also feel pressure on them quite often. “However the LGBTI ‘pride’ went quite calmly, thanks to the strong protection by law enforcement,” Schaaf added.

The level of adherence and respect to political rights and civil liberties has declined in 67 countries. It has increased only in 37. “Trump’s victory in the US, Brexit, the victory of right-wing parties in some parts of Europe – it all puts under threat the strength of alliances and values that are at the basis of the global democratic institutions,” Director of the representative office of Freedom House in Ukraine said. “In these circumstances the Russian Federation was interfering in political processes in the US and in other democracies, reinforced its support to the dictatorship regime in Syria as well as strengthened its illegal occupation of Ukraine’s territory,” Schaaf said. Russia has been also providing support to the populist parties in the Netherlands, the UK, Austria etc.

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