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Prosecutor General v Sergei Miroshnikov

Closed Expands Expression

Key Details

  • Mode of Expression
    Press / Newspapers
  • Date of Decision
    January 3, 2015
  • Outcome
    Criminal Sanctions
  • Case Number
    N/A
  • Region & Country
    Ukraine, Europe and Central Asia
  • Judicial Body
    First Instance Court
  • Type of Law
    Criminal Law
  • Themes
    Violence against Speakers / Impunity
  • Tags
    Journalism

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Case Analysis

Case Summary and Outcome

A journalist working for Life News, a Russian news organization considered to be pro-Kremlin, was attacked during coverage of a rally of “Right Sector,” a nationalist Ukrainian party. The attacker was convicted but released under the conditions that he is not to leave Kiev without the prosecutor permission and that he must report to the police station regularly for a specified period.

Global FoE could not identify official legal and government records on the case and information on the case was derived from secondary sources. Global FoE notes that media outlets may not provide complete information about this case. Additional information regarding legal matters will be updated as an official source becomes available


Facts

On January 1, 2015, the “Right Front” party organized a march in honor of deceased Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian independence activist. Life News, a reportedly pro-Kremlin news organization, covered the march. During the coverage, the Life News journalist and camera man were attacked by four men. The men destroyed the journalist’s camera and stole her phone. Per the claims of the journalists, one of the attackers had an axe with which he threatened to murder Russian children; at the police station, the man claimed to have had the axe to bury the journalist’s phone.

The police and a few onlookers intervened soon after the attack. Although four men participated in the attack, only one was arrested and prosecuted under Article 171 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code which prohibits the prevention of lawful journalistic activities. The offense is punishable by three months of imprisonment, a prohibition to exit, or a fine.

Sergei Miroshnikov was one of the identified assailants.

Global FoE could not identify official legal and government records on the case and information on the case was derived from secondary sources. Global FoE notes that media outlets may not provide complete information about this case. Additional information regarding legal matters will be updated as an official source becomes available.


Decision Overview

The court found the attacker guilty of violating Article 171. In decided punitive measures, the court took into consideration the attacker’s poor health, the fact that it was the attacker’s first criminal offense, and that he had a rental agreement for an apartment in Kiev. Based on these considerations, the court penalized the attacker by prohibiting him from leaving Kiev without permission of the prosecutor and the requirement that he report regularly to the police for an unspecified period of time.

 


Decision Direction

Quick Info

Decision Direction indicates whether the decision expands or contracts expression based on an analysis of the case.

Expands Expression

Life News has a reputation as a pro-Kremlin news outlet and thus an attack on its journalists in Ukraine had the potential of turning into an issue of impunity. Instead, the attacker was quickly apprehended and prosecuted.

Global Perspective

Quick Info

Global Perspective demonstrates how the court’s decision was influenced by standards from one or many regions.

Table of Authorities

Case Significance

Quick Info

Case significance refers to how influential the case is and how its significance changes over time.

This case did not set a binding or persuasive precedent either within or outside its jurisdiction. The significance of this case is undetermined at this point in time.

Official Case Documents

Reports, Analysis, and News Articles:


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