On January 9, the National Council on TV and Radio Broadcasting appointed unscheduled on-site inspection of 112 Ukraine TV channel, explaining it by the supposedly signs of the violations of the norms of the Law of Ukraine “On TV and Radio Broadcasting” and law “On information” spotted on the air.
The basis for the appointment of the check is the statements of the guests of the TV channel, which supposedly contained the so-called hate language.
Thus, the issue is about the statement in Big Interview, LIVE, Voice of People, Puls, Dialogue with country, Viktor Medvedchuk, Petro Symonenko, Vadym Rabinovych, Anna Herman, Ilya Kyva and other politicians.
112 Ukraine TV channel strongly disagrees with the conclusions of the National Council and finds such a decision to be the continuation of the offensive policy on the freedom of speech in Ukraine. The statements of the guests on the air are not the position of the broadcaster. It is a subjective opinion of particular persons who has nothing to do with the TV channel. 112 Ukraine TV channel sticks to the norms of the Ukrainian legislation, broadcasts all views and points of view on the events and stands against the incitement of hatred.
Lawyer of 112 Ukraine Vasyl Smetana noted that it is not the first check of the TV channel due to the statements on the air of independent and unfavorable for authority opinions.
“It is a consistent activity of the regulator on the establishment of the censorship and ban of particular opinions on the air of 112 Ukraine TV channel and other independents broadcasters. The same check is appointed for the ZIK TV channel, also, for the statements of the guests on the air. NewsOne TV channel also passed such check; the fine was appointed for it; then the National Council appealed to the court with the request to cancel its license,” Smetana said.
“112 Ukraine TV channel will be checked due to the criticism of guests on the TV channel against the authorities. There are no violations of the law in these statements; such statements often announced in other mass media and even in the session hall of the Verkhovna Rada. It is a political discussion in the country covered by 112 Ukraine. Thus, the decision of the National Council is the pressure on the independent mass media,” 112 Ukraine TV channel Director-General Yehor Benkendorf stated.
He also reminded that is why the authorities deprived 112 Ukraine of the digital license.
In his turn, Producer-General of 112 Ukraine Artem Marchevsky is sure that it is a clear signal from the side of the regulator.
“It seems, the new authority set itself the task to root out the criticism in the mass media, impose censorship and ban particular opinions. They develop the media code for this purpose, revoke the channels of licenses, put pressure on mass media. The final goal is to sound only one opinion in Ukraine, one line, which is favorable the current regime,” Marchevsky noted.
Vasyl Smetana is sure that the decision on the result of the check of the TV channel is already known at the National Council. “The experience says that if the check is appointed, the sanctions will be imposed. We intend to appeal this decision in the court,” the lawyer said.
The International Editorial Board of 112 Ukraine considered the decision of the regulator to be biased and politically motivated, which cause further pressure on the rights of the journalists and restriction of the freedom of speech in Ukraine.
112 Ukraine, ZIK and NewsOne TV channels ceased broadcasting for 30 minutes. The action, as the media workers assure, is a response to the attempts of Ukrainian authorities to suppress freedom of speech.
Earlier, the regulatory committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine recommended to the parliament to create the temporary investigation committee (TIC) for investigation of the facts toward meeting the requirements during the change of the owners of 112 Ukraine, NewsOne, ZIK TV Channels.
On October 17, 2019, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has approved as a whole the draft resolution, which provides for the investigation of the activities of three TV channels - NewsOne, 112 Ukraine and ZIK. 278 MPs voted in favor of the decision.