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 Constitutional Court Allowed to Imprison Journalists Who Write About Yanukovych’s Mezhyhiria

By its decision of 20 January, 2012, the Constitutional Court explained the provisions of the Basic Law on the right to privacy and family life in favor of officials, blocking citizens access to a significant amount of public interest information.

Now, journalists and others who want to learn theinformation about politicians and officials, the disclosure ofwhich is not expressly provided by law, could face punishment underArticle 182 of the Criminal Code "violation of privacy". It ispunishable by a fine or up to five years of incarceration, reportsthe Center of Political and Legal Reforms.

As a consequenceof such decision the public may be denied access to information,for example, regarding convictions, disciplinary actions,professional education and family ties of officials of all levels.All of the above data will be within the definition of "personaland family life".

In addition,thanks to this decision, you can open a criminal case against thejournalists who were investigating the presidential residence inMezhyhiria or were making inquiries regarding the benefits ofcertain deputies since the media published "confidential" -according to the interpretation of the Constitutional Court -information about official.

In their turn, theauthorities obtained new grounds to deny citizens access toinformation about politicians and officials. The only informationthat remains open will be regarding the performance of thefunctions of the state and the provision of which is provided bylaw.

By this decision,the Constitutional Court has ignored the position of the EuropeanCourt of Human Rights that the right to privacy of politicians andother public officials is much narrower limits than for theordinary citizen. There can be no secret information when thepublic's right to know objectively prevails over the right ofofficials to keep certain facts about themselves secret, expertssay.

Thus, theConstitutional Court has created the conditions for corruption anddeprived the society of effective mechanisms for monitoring power,and the journalists who expose the facts of abuse are now underthreat of criminal prosecution.

Источник: https://en.censor.net.ua/n230749