KIEV, March 2. /TASS/. Ukraine’s Myrotvorets (Peacemaker) website violates the right to privacy and the presumption of innocence, Benjamin Moreau, the deputy head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission, said on Friday during panel discussion titled "Threats to Freedom of Speech in Ukraine" held by Ukraine’s National Union of Journalists and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in Kiev.
"We have been sending a number of requests on the case of the Myrotvorets website," Moreau noted. He noted that some of these inquiries focused on the fact that some banks refuse to provide financial services to the people who have been added to this website. "We have already spoken to dozens of people, including journalists, whose data is on this website," he stressed, adding that this is a violation of the right to privacy and the presumption of innocence.
Moreau emphasized that the mission had been monitoring the investigation into the murder of two journalists, Pavel Sheremet and Oles Buzina. He also noted that the presence of a large group of extremists at the trial on Buzina's murder had made a very negative impression on the mission’s members and urged the law enforcement agencies to take measures to ensure the judicial independence.
The Threats to Freedom of Speech in Ukraine panel discussion is seen as a platform for discussing headline-making statements made by national media outlets on violating freedom of speech and reports by law enforcement officials on the current state of investigation into crimes committed against journalists.
The Myrotvorets website, linked with Ukrainian parliament member, Interior Ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko, was created in the spring of 2014 for establishing the identities of Donbass militiamen and their supporters. The website blacklists all those suspected of what the editors regard as crimes against Ukraine’s national security.
Also, the Myrotvorets data base contains personal data of journalists on the staff of such mass media outlets as RT, TASS, and also the BBC, Reuters, AFP, CNN, Bloomberg, Al-Jazeera, Associated Press, the Independent, La Liberacion and others. This online resource provides the journalists’ names, the names of their outlets, positions held, mobile phone numbers, E-mail addresses and dates when they visited territories beyond the Ukrainian government’s control. Such mass media workers are accused of "aiding and abetting terrorist organizations."