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Court Rejects Hromadske's Appeal in C14 "Neo-Nazi" Case
7 November, 2019
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The Kyiv Court of Appeal rejects Hromadske's appeal in the case against the right-wind C14 organization. hromadske

The Kyiv Court of Appeal has rejected Hromadske's appeal in the case against the right-wing C14 organization. The case concerns a May 2018 tweet posted by Hromadske International, the English-language service of Hromadske TV, which stated that the “neo-Nazi group C14 has seized a former militant of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic," Brazilian Rafael Lusvarghi.” 

READ MORE: The Neo-Nazis Who Don’t Want to Be Called Neo-Nazis

Hromadske's editor-in-chief Angelina Kariakina referred to the decision as that which carries a "huge threat to the freedom of speech in Kyiv."

"It practically bans journalists from using political characteristics, which is unacceptable in a European country," Kariakina stated.

READ MORE: Why the Appeals Court Should Dismiss C14’s Lawsuit Against Hromadske (OP-ED)

On August 6, The Commercial Court of Kyiv granted C14’s claim against Hromadske. The court noted that the information circulated by Hromadske back in May 2018 “harms the reputation” of C14 and ordered Hromadske to refute the information and pay 3,500 hryvnia ($136) in court fees to C14. 

Various international human rights organizations criticized the court's decision back then. In particular, Freedom House Ukraine called it an "abuse of the right to defend honor and dignity by far-right groups that use force against people of different ethnic or religious backgrounds, or with opposing political and cultural views."

While the OSCE Representative on the Freedom of the Media Harlem Désir said that he was concerned by the August decision, warning that it can discourage journalists.