112 Ukraine blamed the recent statement by Serhiy Vysotsky, the Ukrainian MP; in it, he urged to shell the buildings of 112 Ukraine and NewsOne TV channels.
"These media should be treated as tanks, which has to be shot from an anti-tank missile launcher, that is, closed", Vysotsky said.
The building of the channel was previously attacked with the use of a grenade launcher; a criminal case was opened, as the attack was qualified as a terrorist act. None of the workers of the channel were hurt in the attack.
Anti-tank missile launchers are much more powerful kind of weapon, which is used to defeat hostile armored targets and can lead to multiple human casualties.
112 Ukraine considers this statement unacceptable; besides, it ignites the enmity, the medium claims. The channel also stated that any threats against reporters are unacceptable, demanding to bring Vysotsky to criminal responsibility.
Yehor Benkendorf, the Director-General of the TV channel commented on Vysotsky's words. "Unfortunately, the government did not respond to the terrorist act that occurred on July 13, which gave the way to more threats against reporters. This is why I once again turn to the Office of Ukraine, Cabinet of Ministers, Minister of Internal Affairs, Prosecutor General and the Security Service of Ukraine, demanding to immediately condemn the criminal actions against 112 Ukraine. You have to say this clearly and decisively - one cannot use force against the media in Ukraine. With the alert, I'm witnessing the escalation of pressure on the TV channel that continues for several years now. I hope the new government is strong enough to keep the freedom of speech, to stop the pressure and to secure the right of reporters for their job", he said.
The National Union of Journalists also condemned Vysotsky's statement. Head of the Union Serhoy Tomilenko said the following: "This is enmity, which foresees criminal responsibility. Mr. Vysotsky already faced political responsibility for his manner of speech (a reference to Vysotsky who failed to make it to the new composition of the Ukrainian Parliament, - 112 International)".
The July 13 attack on 112 Ukraine TV channel's building was condemned by a number of international organizations, including the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the International Federation of Journalists. The OSCE said even before the shelling, some of the employees of 112 Ukraine TV channel "received messages with threats, ignored by law enforcers". "It's an unacceptable act of intimidation, which could have led to serious consequences", OSCE said.
At that, President Volodymyr Zelensky did not react to the attack on the TV channel.