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Hundreds of journalists of illegally closed TV channels held rally demanding world leaders to protect freedom of speech in Ukraine

Source : 112 Ukraine

The journalists planned to hold a rally under the building of the National Opera, where the participants of the Crimean Platform gathered
22:34, 23 August 2021

112 Agency

On Monday evening, August 23, hundreds of journalists of illegally closed channels held a rally demanding the protection of freedom of speech in Ukraine. The journalists planned to hold a rally under the building of the National Opera, where the participants of the Crimean Platform gathered, but the police did not let them in.

"Let's show what's going on around the impromptu press conference. So there is a police cordon, which did not let us through to Volodymyrska street, where the National Opera is located. There are supporters of our three, or rather four, television channels that were illegally closed by Zelensky, and we also see national guardsmen and policemen who do not allow people to see the National Opera,"  Pershiy Nezalezhniy channel's correspondent Andriy Lasch said.

According to him, the police cordon is moving along with the protesters. At the exits from the Kyiv metro, they began to check the documents of people proving their identity. The police claim that the inspections were scheduled and took place yesterday and will take place tomorrow in connection with the holding of mass events in the center of Kyiv.

The journalists planned to appeal to world leaders to help stop the assassination of freedom of speech in Ukraine, which is currently taking place under the leadership of President Volodymyr Zelensky and his team.Journalists of the illegally closed  112 Ukraine, NewsOne, ZiK, and Pershiy Nezalezhniy TV channels, were to attend the rally, defending not only their right to broadcast, but also all illegally closed and sanctioned media sources. This is the TV channel Nash, Strana.ua, sharij.net and many others.

Journalists brought posters with the words "Zelensky is the enemy of freedom of speech" "Aren't you ashamed to greet the dictator?" "We demand sanctions for infringement of freedom of speech", "Zelensky is awaiting trial", "Closing channels is a dictatorship", "Zelensky is a dictator". 

The TV presenter Diana Panchenko, who was present at the rally, noted that Zelensky is in absolute agony today, he does not know when he will stop, so the end is near.

“Today we see the summit of the Crimean Platform - an absolutely far-fetched, unnatural event that will bring absolutely no benefit, this is understandable, in no way will Crimea return. And everything that this government does contradicts the return of Crimea. In contrast to the editorial policy of Pershiy Nezalezhniy, which has always been determined to return Crimea, to return Donbas. We are the ones who have always united and certainly did not incite hostility…. Good news, friends, too, and I keep repeating this - every dictator has a drawback: he does not know when to stop. Zelensky today is in absolute agony, in this powerlessness and absolute legal nihilism, he does not know when he will stop, which means his end is near. And how many of us are here and how many people support us once again confirms this," Panchenko said.

Earlier, journalists of the 112 Ukraine, NewsOne, ZIK, and Pershiy Nezalezhniy TV channels, illegally closed by Volodymyr Zelensky, came under the building of the German embassy in Kyiv to deliver a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Journalists intend to ask Merkel to pay attention to the situation with freedom of speech in Ukraine and to influence the Ukrainian government.

Besides, the journalists appealed with the request for a meeting to President of the Council of Europe Charles Michel and leaders of the EU countries, heads of the EU leading bodies and profile international organizations due to the pressure on the freedom of speech in Ukraine.

Moreover, the MEPs wrote a letter to Josep Borrell on the violation by Ukraine of the principles of freedom of speech and laws in the situation on 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZiK.

Besides, the decision to impose sanctions on the MP from the Opposition Platform - For Life Taras Kozak, and the closure of 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZiK TV channels contradicts international human rights standards. This is stated in the report of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights "Update on the Human Rights Situation in Ukraine."

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