Hromadske’s editorial team treats the recent post by the Myrotvorets organization, a website, which contains a database of people it considers enemies of Ukraine, as pressure on journalism.
The post, published on their website on March 26, calls for crowdfunding for the “construction of an SBU prison for the employees of Amnesty International” and suggests that Hromadske journalist Anastasia Stanko should be put in that prison, captioning her photograph with “Stanko. Waiting for her turn.”
This website entry is intended to mock Hromadske’s recent investigation, “The Secret Compound,” which reveals the existence of secret detention facilities in Kharkiv for people with separatist views. The film informs on facts of public interest, including those of human rights violations. The investigation took Stanko and her colleagues years to carry out.
“We treat [Myrotvorets’] actions not just unacceptable but also outright dangerous for the freedom of speech situation in Ukraine,” Hromadske editorial team stated.
Another post by Myrotvorets appeared on their Twitter page on March 29. It uses a different photo of Stanko, along with text of an insulting nature.
Hromadske considers these posts to be not only harmful to journalism, but also an open call for bullying – a method that Myrotvorets has resorted to in the past.
The activist website, which has close ties to the Ukrainian interior ministry, caused huge controversy in 2016 when it published information on thousands of journalists, including those working in international companies like BBC and Reuters. The story led to an entire bullying and intimidation campaign targeted at several journalists and media outlets, which has not only threatened their professional activity, but put their wellbeing and lives at risk.
“We ask the Kyiv Prosecutor’s Office to investigate the case of making journalists’ data public. And those politicians, activists and civil activists who share posts of this nature – to help the investigation instigated by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Hromadske.”