The teams of 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZiK express gratitude to the staff of YouTube video hosting for the decision not to close our channels, but only prevent access to them from the territory of Ukraine. We are aware that your decision comes from the necessity to comply with the directives of Ukrainian authorities, and we consider a victory that Ukrainian citizens have an intact opportunity to watch our TV channels, particularly with the help of YouTube instruments, using no extra software. Yet, the very fact that such restriction of freedom of speech exists, is quite a sensitive matter for Ukraine and its citizens.
The government launched a wave of reprisals against dissidence. However, in spite of the blockade by Ukrainian authorities and the ongoing hate campaign against us and our employees, 112 Ukraine’s YouTube channel has reached one million subscribers!
We would like to draw your attention to the fact that thanks to your stance, our TV channels are still among the leaders of Ukrainian media market.
All illicit decisions of the current government, their attempts to impose censorship and silence the critical media, which served as the basis for blocking our channels on the territory of Ukraine, are now litigated before the courts, and will certainly be revoked. Moreover, the decrees of President Zelensky were met with strong criticism not only on the part of the European community, but also in the UN, as the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission emphasized in the report that closure of TV channels contradicts international human rights standards. We would like to quote the report of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights "Update on the Human Rights Situation in Ukraine":
"On 2 February, the President of Ukraine signed a decree of the National Council for Security and Defense, imposing sanctions against Taras Kozak and his eight companies, which resulted in the closure of three television channels (112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZiK) which are perceived as pro-Russian. This decision is contrary to international human rights standards, as it lacks justification of its necessity and proportionality, and was not taken by an independent authority."
This report will be included in the evidence base of our lawyers to challenge the legality of Ukrainian authorities’ decisions.
We hope that YouTube officials support the core principles of democracy and are strongly opposed to censorship.
Therefore, we believe that our broadcasting will return to video hosting sites even before the court decision is issued.