Ukraine goes down to 38th place in Freedom on the Net 2016 ranking
Ukraine has gone down from 37th to 38th place in the annual ranking of Freedom on the Net, compiled by Freedom House international human rights organization.
Thus, Ukraine remains to be “partly free”.
The organization notes that social media and ICT applications are not blocked in Ukraine, but there are cases of restriction of access to information and arrests of bloggers and activists.
In particular, the human rights activists note that the Internet market in Ukraine continues to grow, but it is also suffering from the difficult economic situation, the annexation of Crimea and the crisis in the east of the country, where, in particular, the essential infrastructure has been damaged.
In addition, as noted, access to online content in government-controlled Ukraine remains largely unaffected by the Russian occupation of Crimea and Russian involvement in the conflict in parts of eastern Ukraine, though dozens of Ukrainian websites have been censored in the rebel controlled Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
” Furthermore, online discussion forums and social media continued to be impacted by partisan voices from both sides, Russian-paid commenting, and self-censorship out of fear,” the human rights activists noted.
Freedom House stresses that Ukrainian authorities have attempted to pressure ISPs to introduce selective blocking of websites containing “separatist” or “terrorist” content.
The organization underlines that the physical pressure on the commentators on the Internet has generally eased, but stressed the murder of a “prominent journalist” in July, apparently referring to journalist of the Ukrayinska Pravda online media outlet Pavel Sheremet.
It is also pointed out that the safety of thousands of journalists was threatened due to leakage of information about their accreditation in Donbas. Obviously, it is a question of release of personal data at Myrotvorets website.
Russia has gone down from 62nd to 65th place, having maintained the status of a not free country.
In last year’s ranking, it ranked 37th, a year earlier it was 33d. In 2012 and 2013, Ukraine ranked 27th and 28th respectively, while holding a free country status.