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To close or not to close: Guests of Pulse show discuss Parliament's decision

The speakers offered either 'to close, if there's enough evidence' or 'categorically abstain from closing the medium'
22:01, 5 October 2018

112 Agency

Guests of The Pulse show, held on October 5, responded to the question of TV hosts and thus shared their views on media freedom in Ukraine, and whether 112 Ukraine and NewsOne TV channels should be closed and deprived of the rights to broadcast. 112 International offers its readers some of the reponses showed below as quotes.

Vasyl Holovanov, General Producer of NewsOne TV channel

One should not do this at any rate. For those of MPs who doubt the principles of editorial policy at 112 Ukraine and NewsOne, - fellow MPs, you are planting a deferred-action mine. You want to shut down two channels, but where are the guarantees that three, four, five channels will not be shut down?

Oleksandr Opanasenko, MP from Samopomich party

If there is enough evidence of these channels' activity, funding, intransparency of beneficiaries - yes. If this cannot be confirmed, - no 

Dmytro Raimov, political technologist

On the one hand, there's no way one can attack the freedom of speech - doesn't matter whether it is a TV channel, newspapers or a website. But they all suffer here (...) if these TV channels are shut down now, we will lose them from TV screens - for some time. But this is a deferred-action mine under the current government. The reporters and TV channel owners and those who support the channels will have the rights; those in Europe will be saying the freedom of speech in Ukraine is over. This is the end of the incumbent government.

Ivan Krulko, MP from Batkivshchyna party  

Neither 112 Ukraine nor NewsOne will be shut down in Ukraine. As Batkivshchyna party, we never support shutting down the TV channels that work according to the law, which do not violate anything; no Parliament has the right to close channels. Yesterday's vote was not about closing the TV channels, too.

Oleksandr Vilkul, MP from Opposition Bloc

I voted with the red button. Me and my counterpart Nestor Shufrych submitted the bill that blocked the signature of this decree for censorship by Mr. Parubiy (speaker of the Parliament, - 112 International). There are at least 10 days before the next plenary session at the Parliament begins; 10 days to reach the international society and fellow Ukrainian and the power, to prevent this. I'm not just 'contra', I'm 'aggressively contra'  

Svyatoslav Piskun, former Prosecutor General of Ukraine

Such matters should be lying solely within the Constitution's authority. No political decisions should be affecting the legality of making decisions by the authoritative bodies. It's either the National Council for Broadcasting or exclusively the court that provides the legal assessment of the channel's activity.

The staff of 112 Ukraine TV channel insists that the steps made by the Ukrainian Parliament, which aim to apply sanctions against 112 Ukraine TV channel are nothing but a political decision; there is not enough evidence to make such decision, which badly lacks argumentation and may be considered unconstitutional.

Related: NSDC must appoint expertise of “112 Ukraine” and NewsOne, - ex-prosecutor general

Related: OSCE concerned about Ukrainian parliament’s call for sanctions against 112 Ukraine

Related: First they talk about freedom of speech, then vote for sanctioning NewsOne and 112 Ukraine

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