Ukraine's State Language Protection Commissioner Taras Kremin addressed the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Dmytro Razumkov, Chairman and Members of the Parliamentary Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy about the inadmissibility of making any changes to the language legislation. Press service of the Language Ombudsman reported this on June 15.
According to the Language Ombudsman, the agenda of the Verkhovna Rada session includes bills #5554 and #5554-1, which provide for the postponement of the mandatory dubbing films in Ukrainian for an indefinite period. A regular session of the parliamentary committee on humanitarian and information policy is also planned; during that, some MPs will again try to make new unconstitutional amendments to last year's bill on the independence of the National Council of Ukraine on Television and Radio (#4107) and completely abolish the Ukrainian language support for films and TV shows from July 16 2021.
“In this regard, I appealed to the Speaker of The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Chairman and Members of the Parliamentary Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy on the inadmissibility of such covert manipulations with the law. These amendments of the MP`s that are proposed to be included in the draft law #4107 may not only jeopardize the use of the state language in the field of television and radio broadcasting and lead to violation of citizens' rights to receive relevant services and information in the state language, but also do not comply with the regulations of the parliament,” the Commissioner noted in a letter to the Speaker of the Parliament.
According to the Commissioner, the amendments to the draft law #4107 propose to change the current version of Articles 3 and 10 of the Law of Ukraine “On Television and Radio Broadcasting”, providing that the requirements for creating or completing and / or packaging TV and radio programs and / or programs films and their distribution and demonstration by television and radio organizations (broadcasting) are established exclusively by the legislation on television and radio broadcasting. Therefore, the establishment of additional requirements by other laws is not allowed.
The Commissioner reminded that currently, the requirements for distribution and demonstration of TV shows, films and advertisements regarding the use of the state language are regulated not only by the Laws of Ukraine “On Television and Radio Broadcasting”, “On Cinematography” and “On Advertising” but also by the Law “On ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the state language”.
In particular, Part 6 of Article 23 of this Law provides that starting from July 16, 2021 the language of distribution and showing of films in Ukraine is the state language. Unconstitutional amendments actually neutralize the current norms of the language law.
Taras Kremin emphasized that the second part of Article 10 of the Ukrainian Constitution provides that the state ensures comprehensive development and functioning of the Ukrainian language in all areas of public life throughout the country.
“We are against such manipulations with the law, which will actually lead to the creation of additional restrictions on the citizens of Ukraine on the basis of language, which is unacceptable. Therefore, bills 4107, 5554, 5554-1 cannot be supported by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, as these are unconstitutional,” the Ombudsman summed up.
As it was reported earlier, two thirds of all TV shows on the leading Ukrainian TV channels are shown in Russian. According to the analisys results, out of the total number of TV shows on the examined TV channels, less than half of them are shown in Ukrainian (out of 43 shows only 14 are made, dubbed or voiced in Ukrainian, the other 29 - in Russian).