On November 3, 2021, Aliona Bereza, a public activist, investigative journalist, and regional representative of the Institute of Mass Information (IMI), was attacked by unknown persons. Aliona is also involved in the development of civil society in Ukraine – she is a co-author of the Map of Legal Reforms and a participant in the Legal Reform Platform for CSOs, which is created and supported by the project “Ukraine Civil Society Sectoral Support Activity”.
The activist links the attack to her journalistic and public activities.
This incident, as well as the disappointing attack statistics, shows that the attacks on activists in Ukraine still continue and the strategy of intimidation of public activists is being implemented.
Initiative Center to Support Social Action “Ednannia”, Centre for Democracy and Rule of Law and the Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research strongly condemn the growing violence against public figures, activists and journalists.
Systematic violence against journalists is a matter of serious concern. According to the monitoring conducted by the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), in the first 10 months of this year, in the territory controlled by the Ukrainian government, representatives of the media who were engaged in professional activities were attacked 59 times.
We call on the National Police of Ukraine to investigate the attack on Aliona Bereza as quickly and professionally as possible, to punish the attackers and hiring party, and we insist on a fair investigation of all cases of attacks on public figures. The state must demonstrate that it is able to guarantee its citizens the right to life, safety of their families and security of their homes.
Public activists are trying to protect the interests of society as a whole and therefore risk their lives and health. It is their activities that turn activists into enemies for dishonest officials, businessmen and the criminal world.
We also call on journalists and civil society activists to promote more coverage of attempts and attacks on colleagues, as it will not only give them tangible and important support, but also help attract more allies to protect public figures.
The statement has been supported by:
- Association to Promote Self-Organization of the Population, All-Ukrainian NGO
- National Union of Journalists of Ukraine
- NGO Advocacy Center “Life”
- NGO Center for Civil Liberties
- Association of Ukrainian Human Rights Monitors on Law Enforcement (Association UMDPL)
- Vostok SOS Charitable Foundation
- NGO “Magic Runes”
- Public Association “Heritage!”(Spadshchyna!)
- PA EA Ecosystem
- NGO Civil Society Development Forum
- NGO Detector Media
- International Development Foundation Charitable Organization
- Coalition of NGOs Zaporizhzhia Reform Council
- NGO “Odesa Institute of Social Technologies”
- NGO Ukrainian League of Lawyers for Corruption Combating
- NGO Clear Way (Chystyi Shliakh)
- “Creative Initiative” Foundation
- Women’s Anti-Corruption Movement NGO
- Charitable Organization “Network of 100 percent of life Rivne”
- PRAVO NGO
- NGO “Territory of New Changes”
- NGO “Community Time” Advocacy and Analytical Platform
- NGO “Natural Rights Ukraine”
- NGO “Power in Unity”
- Center for Sustainable Development Initiatives NGO
- Kirovohrad Regional Organization of the All-Ukrainian NGO “Association for the Promotion of Self-Organization of the Population”
- NGO “Kremin Business Association”
- Pressure Group “Save Fesenko’s Printing House”
- Chernihiv Center for Human Rights
- Dobrochyn Center
- New Forces Movement
- Human Rights Center ZMINA
- NGO “Center for Civil Initiatives TIRA”
- NGO Agency for Change “Perspective”
- NGO “Women’s Hub”
- NGO “Alternative-Chortkiv”
- Center of Information Studies and Resource Service “Meridian”
- CrimeaSOS NGO
- PA Coalition Reanimation Package of Reforms
- NGO “On the Verge”
- NGO Themis Human Rights Association
- Kremenchuk Anticorruption Centre
- NGO “Rural Development Promotion”