Ukrainian parliamentarian, the Chairman the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Freedom of Speech Nestor Shufrych received an appeal for protection from the staff of Pershiy Nezalezhniy TV channel.
The full text of the letter is at this link.
The journalists appealed to Shufrych because they want to exercise their right to freedom of speech, they want to convey objective information to the audience, they just want to work. However, the current government closes TV channels without a trial, by presidential decree or by a letter from the Deputy Chairman of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).
“I am well aware that the whole world is outraged by the closure of independent TV channels. Relevant international organizations, politicians and experts defend the channels. As you remember, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urged the Ukrainian authorities to resume broadcasting of closed media. UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission, Freedom House President Michael Abramowitz, and the Council of Europe, including its Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić, а number of Members of European Parliament and many other international organizations supported the TV channels and condemned the actions of the authorities. As a Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Freedom of Speech, I have never remained uninvolved in the problems of the media, especially at a time when censorship is literally introduced in Ukraine. I understand perfectly well how acute the issue of Pershiy Nezalezhniy is and I intend to do everything possible to help the journalists,” Shufrych said.
Earlier, journalists of the illegally closed Ukrainian media sent an appeal to the French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Diplomatic Advisor to the President of France Emmanuel Bonne, Director for the UN and International Human Rights Organizations at the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France Fabien Penon, Director for European Union Affairs at the Ministry Europe and French Foreign Affairs Pierre Setton, parliamentarian and Chairman of the France-Ukraine friendship group in the National Assembly Valéria Faure Muntian, President of Reporters Without Borders Pierre Haski, Chairman of the French branch of the Association of European Journalists, Véronique Auger, and many other diplomats.
By the way, this is not the only rally of the journalists of the illegally closed 112 Ukraine, NewsOne, ZIK and Pershy Nezalezhniy TV channels where they call on the international community to pay attention to the problem of freedom of speech in Ukraine.
Earlier, teams the TV channels and websites illegally closed by the Ukrainian authorities wrote a letter to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken about total censorship and a serious threat to freedom of information in Ukraine.
The also met with the Secretary of the Senate, Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Armed Forces Joël Guerriau, and the Vice-President of the Committee on Constitutional Laws, Legislation, Universal Suffrage, Rules and General Administration (LOISa) of the French Senate Nathalie Goulet and informed the senators about the catastrophic situation with freedom of speech in Ukraine.
Before that, they appealed to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights with a request to pay attention to the problem of the destruction of freedom of speech in Ukraine and to influence the Ukrainian government in general and President Zelensky in particular.
In late August, the journalists of the illegally closed 112 Ukraine, NewsOne, ZiK TV channels, Pershiy Nezalezhniy, KRT, representatives of Strana.ua and Sharij.net held a mass rally and handed over a letter about illegal actions of the Ukrainian authorities against media representatives to the U.S. Embassy. They also called on U.S. President Joe Biden to raise the problem of Zelensky's destruction of freedom of speech in Ukraine.
Earlier, hundreds of journalists from 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZiK TV channels came to the UN Office in Ukraine to express their gratitude for the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights "Update on the Human Rights Situation in Ukraine," which deemed the closure of the TV channels illegal.