The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has expressed concern over the sanctions imposed by the Ukrainian authorities in February, which led to the closure of 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZIK TV channels. It is currently examining whether the new government sanctions against blogger Anatoly Shariy and the Strana.ua online portal are in line with international human rights standards, OHCHR spokesman Marta Hurtado told TASS.
“The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights regularly monitors the human rights impact of government-imposed sanctions that affect freedom of expression. We expressed our concern to the Ukrainian authorities with the February 2 decision to impose sanctions, which led to the closure of three TV channels, is contrary to international standards,” the official said.
As Hurtado emphasized, OHCHR "is aware of the new sanctions imposed by the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine against the leader of the opposition political party Shariy Party and his wife, as well as against the owner of the online portal Strana.ua". Office of the High Commissioner The UN is currently "reviewing this decision and assessing its compliance with international human rights law."
On August 20, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksiy Danilov announced the imposition of sanctions against the editor-in-chief of the Internet portal Strana.ua Igor Guzhva, the publishing companies of Strana.ua, blogger and journalist Anatoly Shariy, his wife Olga and several others. Danilov stated that they were allegedly engaged in "illegal activities on the territory of Ukraine."
On August 19, the National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting decided to file a lawsuit against the broadcasting license of the Nash TV channel for broadcasting statements that allegedly contained "signs of a hidden call for aggressive actions."
On February 2, President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree on the application of sanctions against the TV channels 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZIK. According to the decree, which came into force from the moment of signing, sanctions were applied to TV channels for five years. This provides for blocking the broadcasting of all three TV channels.
On February 26, journalists of the TV channels illegally closed by President Volodymyr Zelensky united and created a new TV channel - Prshiy Nezalezhny. The founders of the new media are a group of journalists who previously worked on 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZIK. But literally an hour after the start of broadcasting, the authorities illegally disconnected the channel from the air.
Leading European politicians, international and Ukrainian experts and world media have criticized Zelensky's decree on the termination of the work of 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and Zik TV channels.
In recent months, the world media, European politicians and experts have published more than 70 thousand materials on the persecution of the opposition and independent TV channels by the Ukrainian authorities.