Coordination center for assistance to journalists has provided 60 consultations in twenty-four hours

09:28, 01 November 2004
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Coordination center for assistance to journalists has provided 60 consultations in twenty-four hours
For unimpeded highlighting of the elections process in mass-media, the national Union of Journalists of Ukraine, the professional association `Independent Media-Unions of Ukraine` and Law Program IREX U – Media have agreed to jointly defend rights of journalists on days of voting and counting of results of elections. Mission of the International Federation of Journalists has also worked together with them.
Three journalist’s organizations have created a twenty-four hour Coordination Center for Assistance to Journalists during elections. It has commenced its activity at 7.00 on 31 October, and will operate till 12.00 on 1 November. Free telephone hotline has provided journalists from all regions of Ukraine with an opportunity to inform about violations of the election processes and received legal advice in order to resolve their problem in a fast way. Urgent assistance was provided to journalists and mass-media by telephone 8-800-5016550.
One has to note high activity of ordinary citizens during the entire day: from over 60 requests, about one-half came from them, another part concerned problems of journalists directly. All who telephoned introduced themselves and left contact details.
First requests came from citizens and journalists who expressed fears about all possible violations of the elections processes and any prohibitions and limitations including those on the number of observers at polling stations, prohibition to use mobile telephones at polling stations, etc.
From 12 till 13 o’clock, citizens informed the Center about violations during voting. In particular, they informed about buses coming to polling stations with people, including law enforcers, with voter’s transfer certificates.
One has to note a large number of complaints about negligent compilation of lists of voters (inclusion of relatives deceased long time ago, erroneous names, or mistakes in numbers of apartments and buildings). Because of wrong lists, a large group of people in Kiev (up to 600 persons) had problems with implementation of their electoral rights. Complaints about violations in preparation of lists of voters were received during the entire day.
Information form citizens who tried to stop violations and told about everything they thought to be suspicious was received practically from all provinces of Ukraine.

Source: Kiev Independent Media-Union

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