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European Court Extends Decision To Ban Ukrainian Authorities' Access To Journalist's Phone


Natalia Sedletska is the host of Schemes, an award-winning anticorruption television program by RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service and Ukrainian Public Television. 

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has extended a decision made last month to prevent Ukrainian authorities from accessing data from RFE/RL investigative reporter Natalia Sedletska's mobile phone.

The ECHR on September 18 issued a one-month interim decision ordering Ukraine's government to ensure that the authorities there do not access any data from Sedletska's phone.

In a letter to the Ukrainian government on October 16, the ECHR announced said it "decided to prolong until further notice" the measure adopted last month.

The ECHR order gives Sedletska time to prepare a full complaint against a Ukrainian court ruling allowing investigators to review data from her phone.

On August 27, Kyiv's Pechersk district court approved a request from the Prosecutor-General's Office to allow investigators to review all data from Sedletska's phone from July 1, 2016, through November 30, 2017.

The ruling stemmed from a criminal investigation into the alleged disclosure of state secrets to journalists in 2017 by Artem Sytnyk, director of the National Anticorruption Bureau of Ukraine.

On September 18, a Ukrainian appeals court ruled to restrict the original request to geolocation data from around the offices of the National Anticorruption Bureau in Kyiv, but upheld the original time frame.

Sedletska is the host of Schemes, an award-winning anticorruption television program by RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service and Ukrainian Public Television.

The Schemes program reported on several investigations involving senior Ukrainian officials, including Prosecutor-General Yuriy Lutsenko, during the period in question.

The United States, the European Union, and international media watchdogs have expressed concern over the Ukrainian court ruling

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