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Possible arrest of 112 Ukraine TV channel would become rude pressure on media, - National Union of Journalists

Law enforcers have a right to investigate, but the TV channel still has its rights to defend, too, Serhiy Tomilenko, the head of the Union posted on Facebook
22:49, 20 August 2019

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A possible arrest of 112 Ukraine TV channel's property and handing it over to the Agency for Search and Management of Assets (ARMA) is an extra measure that will surely mean a rude pressure on the media. Serhiy Tomilenko, the head of the National Union of Journalists posted that on Facebook.

"Today (August 20, - 112 International), The Babel outlet published the high-profile story about the possible scenarios of events concerning the most popular news TV channel, 112 Ukraine. One of the decisions could be as follows: the TV channel's assets could be arrested and passed to ARMA within the criminal case opened by the SBU (Ukraine's state security service, - 112 International).

Law enforcers have a right to investigate, but the TV channel still has its rights to defend, too, he said.

"In the situation of current public attention, the government (the president's team) should report to the society, saying it does not take any steps to neutralize the popular TV channel politically (and not in line with the law). Of course, the law enforcement agencies have the right to look into the legal nature of household operations, the change of ownership of the media and other issues. At that, the TV channel also has the right to defend itself, involving its lawyers and, eventually, going to the court", the head of the National Union of Journalists says. 

Related: If pressure on 112 Ukraine continues, issue to be considered in European Parliament committee, - MEP

"Until the end of possible court procedures, the arrest of TV channel and passing it under the jurisdiction of ARMA would be an extra measure, a destructive measure. There is no risk of withdrawal of assets from Ukraine. And the practice of involvement of ARMA with media assets is obvious: using brute force, exacting physical aggression against the media workers, destruction of equipment (one could remember the situation with the attack on Anastasiya Rein, VESTI holding's reporter). This post is not about editorial policy or 112 owners. It's the post about the responsibility of new officials who should not be abusing their power against the Ukrainian media and reporters. 

Earlier on August 20, numerous Ukrainian media reported that Chief of the President's Office Andriy Bohdan planned to set control over 112 Ukraine TV channel and organize the SBU raid on the channel. The media stated that Bohdan's goal would be to get control over the most popular news channel in Ukraine and pass it to ARMA agency.

Related: Statement of International Editorial Council of 112 Ukraine TV Channel on protection of journalists’ rights, plans of Ukraine’s President’s Office to control channel

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