The billboards with an appeal to the EU-Ukraine summit participants from journalists of illegally closed media - 112 Ukraine, ZIK, NewsOne and Pershiy Nezalezhniy, Strana.ua and Shariy.net - with a demand to protect freedom of speech are being ripped off and destroyed in Kyiv. The correspondent reported this on air of Pershiy Nezalezhniy .
"The banner, which was installed by the journalists of the illegally closed media, is damaged. This particular banner reads: "For the guests of the EU-Ukraine summit to raise the issue of freedom of speech in Ukraine." The boards are removed all over Kyiv, "she said.
Note that these billboards were in place for less than a day. Thus, the authorities again use a repressive machine against journalists, freedom of speech, suppressing any possibility of dissent in the country and finally turning towards the dictatorship of lawlessness and authoritarianism.
Earlier, on October 11, the billboards of journalists of illegally closed media with an appeal to EU-Ukraine summit participants to protect freedom of speech appeared all over Kyiv.
These boards were installed by journalists of 112 Ukraine, NewsOne, ZIK TV channels, which were illegally closed by the Ukrainian authorities, and by Pershiy Nezalezhniy, which was closed by a letter from the Deputy Chariman of the Security Service (SBU) without trial, and by Strana.ua and Shariy.net websites.
On billboards are located along the entire route where the guests of the summit will pass, journalists of the media illegally closed by the authorities urge participants to raise the issue of threats to freedom of speech in Ukraine and draw the attention of international partners to flagrant violations of the rights of journalists in Ukraine.
Earlier, on October 27, a regular session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe started. The journalists of Pershiy Nezalezhniy worked at the site and informed its participants about the illegal actions of the Ukrainian authorities against independent media, such as 112 Ukraine, NewsOne, ZIK, Pershiy Nezalezhniy, as well as Strana.uа and Shariy.net agencies. As part of the Assembly meeting, journalists handed over the letters, and brochures detailing the pressure on freedom of speech in Ukraine to hundreds of European politicians, in particular, MEPs, PACE delegates, Foreign Ministry officials, European politicians, ministers and officials from different countries.
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 signing, sanctions were applied to TV channels 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 112 Ukraine, NewsOne, and ZIK channels. However, within an hour after the start of broadcasting, Pershiy Nezalezhniy TV channel was illegally turned off under pressure from the authorities.
On August 20, the sanctions were imposed on the editor-in-chief of the Internet portal Strana.ua Igor Guzhva, the publishing companies of Strana.ua, blogger and journalist Anatoly Shariy and his wife Olga. As a result, Strana.ua and Shariy.net were blocked.
Leading European politicians, international and Ukrainian experts and the world media criticized Zelensky's decree on the closure of the TV channels 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZIK.
In connection with the illegal actions of the authorities, the journalists appealed to the US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken regarding the introduction of total censorship and a serious threat to freedom of information in Ukraine, handed over an open letter to European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy from 2010 to 2014 Stefan Füle and ex-President of Poland Aleksander Kwasniewski, Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression Irene Khan, and the Spokesperson of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Marta Hurtado. And the Council of Europe recommended journalists of illegally closed Pershiy Nezalezhniy channel to appeal to ECHR.
The journalists of the illegally closed TV channels met with the Secretary of the Senator of France, Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and the Armed Forces of the French Senate, member of NATO PA and member of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Joël Guerriau and member of French Senate, member of the commission of Foreign Affairs and Defense Forces Nathalie Goulet. The senators were informed about the situation with freedom of speech in Ukraine.
In addition, the journalists of 112 Ukraine, NewsOne, and ZIK TV channels, illegally closed by the Ukrainian authorities, Pershiy Nezalezhniy, closed by a letter from the Deputy Chairman of the Security Service without a trial, as well as Strana.ua and Shariy.net outlets came to the YES Brainstorming conference, which started on September 10 in Kyiv, to talk about the situation with freedom of speech in Ukraine.
The journalists of the closed media sent a letter to the PACE delegates, where they told about the pressure of the authorities on the independent media in Ukraine and asked for their assessment. They were also supported by the Charity Foundation for the Protection of Freedom of Speech in Ukraine, whose Chairperson sent a letter to US President Joe Biden in connection with the government's persecution of independent media in Ukraine.
Over the past four months, the world media, European politicians, and experts have published more than 96,900 materials on the persecution of the opposition and independent TV channels by the Ukrainian authorities.