President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky's decree on the imposition of sanctions against 112 Ukraine, NewsOne, and ZiK TV channels, which actually aims to destroy the opposition media, forced the International Editorial Board of TV channels that includes members of the European Parliament (Nathan Hill (Britain), Arne Gericke (Germany), and David Coburn (UK)) to address diplomatic missions and international organizations in the field of protection of journalists' rights with the following statement:
The International Editorial Board of TV channels considers President Volodymyr Zelensky's decree on the imposition of sanctions against three TV channels - 112 Ukraine, NewsOne, and ZiK - as an attack on freedom of speech in Ukraine and an attempt to destroy the media on the instructions of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The International Editorial Board notes that President Zelensky's decree is illegal and unconstitutional and that it is contrary to the democratic norms of the civilized world.
The International Editorial Board views the presidential decree on sanctions as a far-fetched and politically motivated attempt by the Ukrainian authorities to shut down opposition television channels. In view of this, the International Editorial Board notes the further attack on the rights of journalists and the curtailment of freedom of speech in Ukraine.
The International Editorial Board draws the attention of international organizations in the field of protection of journalists' rights to the fact that 112 Ukraine, NewsOne, and ZiK TV channels have already been pressured because of their independent position: in a form of unconstitutional decisions of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, intimidation of journalists by radical right organizations.
In addition, in 2020, the building of 112 Ukraine TV channel was attacked with a grenade launcher, which was classified as a terrorist act, but the culprits have not yet been found. Unfortunately, the Ukrainian authorities not only continue to ignore the appeals of the International Editorial Board and the staff of the TV channel but moreover - they tried to raid the TV channel.
The International Editorial Board intends to continue its work to include the suppression of freedom of speech in Ukraine, arbitrariness on the part of the Ukrainian authorities, impunity for radical organizations, and insufficient security of Ukrainian journalists on the agenda of major European and international organizations that promote human rights and democratic freedoms. The International Editorial Board also calls on diplomatic missions in Ukraine to express their position on the actions of the Ukrainian authorities in the field of television.
The International Editorial Board expresses its support for the teams of 112 Ukraine, NewsOne, and ZiK TV channels and notes that it will make every effort to draw the world's attention to the urgent protection of 112 Ukraine, NewsOne, and ZiK TV channels and the current attacks that indicate a serious threat to the independence of media in Ukraine.
As we reported earlier, according to the decree that is eligible since the moment of signature, the TV channels faced sanctions that will be active for five years. These sanctions make the broadcasting process impossible.