The President of Ukraine is the guarantor of the respect of Ukraine’s Constitution, which provides for the right for freedom of thought and speech, freedom of expression of one’s views and convictions.
Mr. Poroshenko, you are aware of the pressure the authority puts on the independent media more than anyone else. As in 2004, 5 Channel, owned by you, allocated time for the representatives both of the Government and opposition. Then, also before the elections, 5 Channel had to protest constant suppressions of the freedom of speech, and the action team of the channel announced a hunger strike, which led to a “journalist revolution” couple of days later.
112 Ukraine also has the journalists. Their competence and dedication to the occupation have never been doubted, many of them have received “Honorary Journalist of Ukraine” title and other national awards, including the ones awarded by you. Every day, they provide more than 18 hours of live broadcasting, by the way of thinking, by its nature, it complies with the core of the freedom of speech.
On October 4, 2018, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a regulation on approval of proposals on the imposition of individual special economic and other restrictive measures (sanctions) against the broadcasters of 112 Ukraine and NewsOne.
We consider the adopted regulation a result of an artificial and dirty political strategy and the application of the sanctions against Ukrainians independent television and radio organizations in a democratic and law-based state, which is Ukraine according to the Constitution, unacceptable.
Ukraine and 112 Ukraine TV channel should remain an island of protection and support of the basic values of the modern civilized world in such tough political conditions. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms declare these values. In particular, everyone has a right for freedom of thought and expression of the views.
The voting of Ukraine’s people’s deputies for the regulation on approval of proposals on the imposition of individual special economic and other restrictive measures (sanctions) against the broadcasters of 112 Ukraine and NewsOne is a sentence for the Ukrainian democracy, law, and order.
It appeared that the situation with an understanding of freedom of speech in Ukraine has not improved over 14 years after the hunger strike of the journalists from 5 Channel - it only got worse.
It is another attack at the freedom of speech, rights of the journalists and the teams of the TV channels. For instance, over 400 people work on 112 Ukraine, more than 1000 politicians and experts become the guests of live programs, millions of Ukrainians make our viewing audience.
The National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine decides on the imposition of the sanctions, the regulation comes into force by the decree of the President of Ukraine.
The President, as the guarantor of the Constitution, is the last outpost of the protection of freedom of speech in Ukraine and citizens’ rights.
We ask you to prevent the imposition of sanctions against television and radio companies under the Regulation of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on “Approval of recommendations to introduce personal special economic sanctions and other restrictive measures (sanctions)” as of October 4, 2018.
Author of the petition