The situation with the far right in Ukraine was discussed in the French Senate, and after the discussion, a new issue arose on the agenda - pressure on the media and the persecution of the opposition in our country.
Senator Nathalie Goulet has officially sent an inquiry to the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, as Strana reports.
"Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Medvedchuk is currently under house arrest, without any trial or sentence. The owner of the TV channels and these channels have been closed without trial or investigation, and it is alarming. We have warm relations with Ukraine, so I want to ask the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs what measures he intends to take to promote human rights and civil liberties in Ukraine," an inquiry published in the website of the French Senate reads.
Now the minister is obliged to give a formal explanation concerning this issue.
"In response to an inquiry about the growth of the far-right in Ukraine, he acknowledged their existence for the first time, but clarified that Ukraine is a democratic country, and there are no more radical forces there than in any other European country. Then he was asked a counterquestion - what kind of democracy are we talking about if freedom of speech is violated, unwanted for the authorities TV channels are closed, a member of the opposition faction is placed under house arrest. This issue was raised for the first time in Europe at this level, and the minister is obliged to respond to the official inquiry of the senator," a source in French political circles told Strana.ua.
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.
Earlier, on February 20, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky put into effect the decision of the National Security and Defense Council on sanctions against 8 individuals and 19 legal entities. Among them are three Ukrainian citizens - the politician Viktor Medvedchuk and his wife Oksana Marchenko and the common-law wife of the owner of the NewsOne, ZIK, and 112 Ukraine channels, Taras Kozak, Natalya Lavreniuk.
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 May 13, the Pechersk district court put the Chairman of the Political Council of the Opposition - For Life Medvedchuk under house arrest.
The Opposition Platform -For Life party responded to this legal willfulness and declared that such actions of the authorities were an open and cynical political reprisal against an opposition politician who, with his principled position, reveals the unprofessionalism, venality and anti-popular nature of the authorities.
Commenting on the situation, Viktor Medvedchuk stressed that his lawyers are fully prepared for the process of appealing against the measure of restraint and they have evidence that refutes the prosecution's charges and prove the illegality of putting him under house arrest.
The side of the defense filed an appeal against the decision of the Pechersk District Court of Kyiv on an extension of the measure of restraint for the politician. However, on July 30, the Kyiv Court of Appeal rejected it, despite the defeat of all the arguments of the prosecution.
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.
Over the past four months, the world media, European politicians and experts have published more than 70,000 materials on the persecution of the opposition and independent TV channels by the Ukrainian authorities.