Ukrainian government must behave responsibly as a government that wishes to be part of Western values and ensure that there is freedom of the press and that they do not use the excuse of a conflict as a reason to suppress TV channels. The member of the European Parliament from Britain Nathan Gill said this in Strasbourg.
“I think it’s crucial that if a nation wants to be a part of the European Union and wants to abide by European values, then that nation must obey the rule of law and ensure that there is freedom of the press. For me, it is just unbelievable that any nation would think that it’s acceptable to allow journalist to prosecuted in a way that they are in Ukraine, without absolutely using every instrument available to the state to make sure that the perpetrators are called and brought to justice, that journalists would feel unsafe in their own country doing their jobs, is a disgrace in 21st century in Western democracy,” he said.
“I’ve been to the Ukraine several times and I’ve been following the whole freedom of the press issues well over a year now and in my view, things are actually getting worse, they are not getting better in Ukraine. And I have spoken to many journalists in Ukraine from various TV channels and also here in Brussels who’ve been assigned over here. And I think the message is very clear: the Ukrainian government must behave responsibly as a government that wishes to be part of Western values and ensure that there is freedom of the press and that they do not use the excuse of a conflict as a reason to suppress TV channels. You know, during WWII, it was our nation’s greatest moments of peril, but during that Winston Churchill did not close down newspaper outlets, he didn’t do a way with democracy, he allowed the media to criticize him, criticize what the government was doing. And if we were able to do it during our moments of greatest peril, then using the Donbas conflict as an excuse for closing down TV channels, I think is an absolute disgrace,” he stressed.
The channel continues to broadcast and is available to its viewers on satellite, cable and the Internet.
The decision of the National Council has already been condemned in the European Parliament, who promised to pass this information to European officials.
The journalists of the 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZIK TV channels held a rally of solidarity against censorship. Three TV channels go off the air for 30 minutes.
The move is an answer to the Ukrainian authorities and their attempts to oppress freedom of speech in Ukraine.