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, Pershiy Nezalezhniy reports.
"Today, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is visiting Ukraine, in Kyiv. She is meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky, who actually initiated the closure of our three TV channels (112 Ukraine, NewsOne, and ZIK, - ed.), as well as the fourth one, newly formed, Pershiy Nezalezhniy. Her cadence comes to an end, Germany holds parliamentary elections on September 26 Germans will vote for a new chancellor. We ask to somehow influence the Ukrainian authorities, because she, as a talented diplomat, has undoubtedly always succeeded in doing this. We would like to give her this letter with a request to pay attention to this situation with the close of four TV channels. They did not stop at the TV channels – now we can witness the pressure against sites, YouTube channels, blogs, etc. continues," said Yulia Koltak, TV presenter.
“We hope that she will hear us, since we, the creative team, did not manage to reach President Zelensky. Unfortunately, he did not hear us. And since Frau Merkel defends democratic principles and democratic values, including freedom of speech, we hope that the president will be able to hear us through her. We hope that she will be able to convey our position to them. Unfortunately, he did not hear us, his citizens. In February, three TV channels were closed - 112 Ukraine, NewsOne, and ZIK. Newly created Pershiy Nezalezhniy was closed without a lawsuit, which absolutely does not fit into the legal framework. On Friday, the National Security and Defense Council also illegally tried to close Internet media Strana.ua. This is no longer just a precedent - it is a dangerous trend with freedom of speech, and we want Merkel to hear us," said another presenter of Pershiy Nezalezhniy, Yevhenia Skoryna.
“On September 2, it will be exactly seven months since the three largest news leading TV channels were closed. Despite this, we still remain faithful, we continue to work and fight for freedom of speech in Ukraine. Nevertheless, during this all the time a lot of work has been done, there have been many appeals to international organizations with a request to support us. the right to work democratically and under normal conditions, to convey the truth to people, nevertheless, I believe that we will be able to do something and move from the place in Ukraine, to overcome this situation, which has developed at the present time," said presenter Pershiy Nezalezhniy TV channel Anastasia Pshenychna.
"We have brought a letter which we want to send to the German embassy. As a person who grew up in a democratic republic, Mrs. Merkel does not understand how unstable the situation with freedom of speech can be. We have it very shaky. Because there are three TV channels, 112 Ukraine, NewsOne, and ZIK, and then Pershiy Nezalezhniy were closed simply on the basis of Zelensky's decision with the help of sanctions without a court decision. Even in democratic Germany, there was no such thing that it was possible to close the media without a court decision. to Angela Merkel - we need help! Mrs. Merkel, from our point of view, has now gone on a farewell visit in her position. We will be glad to see her when she comes to Kyiv not as the Chancellor of Germany, but in a different role.
But we believe that now Angela Merkel can speak more freely and influence the Ukrainian leadership that fighting the press is the same as breaking a mirror when you have problems with your appearance. We believe that Merkel has the moral authority that will allow her to influence political beginner Volodymyr Zelensky, who thinks he has solved the problem by shutting down TV channels. But by closing the media, he did not solve the problem but created it.
We know for sure that Merkel did not order the imprisonment of former Chancellor Schroeder just because he joined Gazprom's Supervisory Board. She did not even think about it. We know for sure that Germany did not give a decree to put pressure on German journalists. We ask you to help us and to confirm the moral leadership of Germany and Chancellor Merkel personally," Vyacheslav Pikhovshek, presenter of Pershiy Nezalezhniy TV channel, summed up.
Earlier, the journalists of the 112 Ukraine TV channels, NewsOne, and ZIK, closed by President Zelensky, asked the German Chancellor Angela Merkel for a meeting.
February 2, Zelensky signed a decree on the application of sanctions against the 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 Pershiy Nezalezhniy TV channel. The founders of the new media are a group of journalists who previously worked on the channels "112 Ukraine", NewsOne and ZIK. But literally, an hour after the start of broadcasting, the authorities illegally disconnected the channel from the air.
Leading European politicians, international and Ukrainian experts, and world media have criticized Zelensky's decree on the termination of the work of 112 Ukraine, NewsOne, and ZIK TV channels.
In recent months, the world media, European politicians, and experts have published more than 37 thousand materials on the persecution of the opposition and independent TV channels by the Ukrainian authorities. At the same time, the report of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights "Report of the situation in the field of human rights in Ukraine" indicates that the decision to close the 112 Ukraine, NewsOne, and ZIK TV channels contradicts international human rights standards.