On February 1, at an extraordinary meeting, National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine canceled the warning and fine for the 112 Ukraine TV channel, which the regulator had imposed on January 28. We welcome this fair decision, but we consider it important to convey to the audience the information that the regulator canceled it only under threat of criminal liability for members of the National TV Council.
Before the meeting of the National Council, 112 Ukraine TV channel informed it that the general producer of the Novyny media holding (News media holding) Oleksiy Semyonov had contracted the coronavirus and could not take part in the meeting of the regulator. In addition, due to a positive PCR test result, other responsible executives are required to go into self-isolation.
This letter was registered in the office of the National TV Council the day before the meeting, which is confirmed by the office of the state body.
At the meeting, the speaker said that the TV channel had been summoned to the meeting, but did not appear and did not ask the National TV Council to postpone it. That is, due to the order, the explanatory letter was intentionally ignored by the regulator. Thus, in order to impose sanctions against the channel, the National TV Council resorted to official forgery.
The National TV Council was threatened with criminal proceedings for official forgery in imposing sanctions on the 112 Ukraine TV channel. Only after that the National Council canceled its unfair decision.
According to our information, the National Council will not give up on putting pressure of 112 Ukraine TV channel in the future. At the direct orders of the authorities, the National TV Council is preparing to announce other inspectons on far-fetched reasons. The results of such checks are predetermined - today the National TV Council accomodates the authorities, qualifying any criticism of these authorities as calls for inciting national enmity and hatred, which directly contradicts democratic standards. The authorities need a decision of the regulator, after which the possibility of depriving the TV channel of its broadcasting license will follows.
112 Ukraine TV channel welcomes the decision of the National TV Council on the abolition of the fine and a warning. At the same time, we urge the regulator not to succumb to pressure from the authorities and not go with war on independent media. In any case, I can promise our viewers that the channel will not deviate from its path We will defend the right of every Ukrainian to choose which channel to watch,” said Yehor Benkendorf, President of the News (Novyny) media holding and 112 Ukraine Director General.