OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir expressed concern and criticized the Ukrainian bill on the fight against disinformation as the OSCE reported.
“I understand the need to fight against disinformation, especially in the context of the current conflict in and around Ukraine. But this should not be done at the expense of media freedom and through state interference in the content of the media and in the organization of journalism activities in the country. Moreover, the current Ukrainian legislation already provides mechanisms to counteract socially dangerous information,” Desir said.
He reminded that during the fight against disinformation, it is necessary to observe the right of everyone for the freedom of expression, which is enshrined in the Constitution of Ukraine and the commitment of the country before the OSCE and other international institutions.
The OSCE representative noted that the few associations of mass media and non-governmental organizations, which deal with the issues of the freedom of media, the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine and European Federation of Journalists strongly criticized the new bill, mostly because it provides the excessive state regulation and control over mass media and it harms the self-governance of the journalists.
Desir expressed the readiness to participate in the discussion with the authorities and hold the due diligence review of the draft law to be sure that it will not influence the freedom of media and negatively and it fully corresponds with the international standards.
Earlier, the Ministry of Culture told about the bill that will regulate the media sphere in Ukraine: in particular, how they will fight fake news, what should be the format of news and responsibility for disinformation.
Later, Ukrainian Minister of Culture Volodymyr Borodyansky, commenting on the ministry's initiative to regulate the media sphere in Ukraine, assured that freedom of speech in Ukraine would not suffer.