The staff of the 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZiK TV channels, illegally closed by the decree of President Volodymyr Zelensky, considers the intention of the Office of the Prosecutor General to put the owner of the TV channels, MP Taras Kozak, on the international wanted list as cynical political persecution, as well as the unsubstantiated charges brought against him.
We went to the Supreme Court to appeal against the unlawful presidential decree that closed us down. And after the court turned to the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) for additional justification, the Security Service initiated an unscheduled inspection of the Supreme Court, which may clearly indicate the absence of an evidentiary basis for the accusation against the channel and its owner.
Zelensky's criminal team accused Taras Kozak of aiding terrorism, but did not provide any evidence of this. We consider this an open persecution on the part of the authorities of an opposition politician, the owner of TV channels that did not broadcast the way the authorities would like. Organizing repressions against the people's deputy, a member of the political council of the Opposition Platform - For Life party, the authorities sought to close down the TV channels belonging to him, and also intended to intimidate the political force.
We are confident that the international community will not only not take part in a naive and cynical attempt to use it for the legal chaos of the Ukrainian government, but will also give its harsh assessment of the illegal, unconstitutional and extrajudicial persecutions carried out by Zelensky and his entourage to establish a dictatorship in Ukraine.
It is high time for the authorities to understand that they are not here forever. Justice will be restored, and everyone who participated in the illegal actions of the authorities will receive what they deserve. We will bring our legal claims to completion and will not stop until all those involved in illegal actions are brought to justice.
Earlier, the Office of the Prosecutor General stated that they want to put Taras Kozak, MP, member of the Political Council of the Opposition Platform - For Life Party, on the international wanted list. The Opposition Platform - For Life responded to this statement, stressing that the political persecution of MP Taras Kozak has only one purpose: reprisals against independent media, 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZIK TV channels, and the destruction of freedom of speech in Ukraine.
On February 2, President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree on the imposition of sanctions against 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZiK TV channels. According to the decree, which came into force from the moment of publication, the TV channels were sanctioned for five years. This provides for blocking the broadcasting of all three TV channels.
On February 26, journalists of the TV channels illegally closed by President Volodymyr Zelensky united and created a new TV channel – Pershiy Nezalezhniy. The founders of the new media are a group of journalists who previously worked on the channels 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZiK. However, only an hour after the start of the broadcast, the authorities illegally disconnected the channel’s broadcasting.
Leading European politicians, international and Ukrainian experts and world media have criticized Zelensky's decree to shut down 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZiK TV channels.