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Another draft law restricting freedom of speech included in parliament's agenda

Ukrainian MPs from President’s party Petro Poroshenko Bloc and the National Front made a motion to authorize the Verkhovna Rada to demand Ukraine’s National Security Council to close down Ukrainian TV channels suspected of “informational support of terrorism”
12:58, 4 December 2018

president.gov.ua

Ukrainian MPs shall attempt to include a draft law No. 9275 on Amendments to some Laws of Ukraine on the protection of information space in the agenda of the Verkhovna Rada today, on December 4. The draft law is created to enable the law on sanctions against Ukrainian TV channels. Serhiy Tomilenko, the Head of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, reported that on his Facebook page.

According to Tomilenko, Ukrainian MPs from President’s party Petro Poroshenko Bloc and the National Front made a motion to authorize the Verkhovna Rada to demand Ukraine’s National Security Council to close down Ukrainian TV channels suspected of “informational support of terrorism”.

At that the definition of “informational support” is indistinct, which shall enable authorities to enforce the law for political censorship and not for enhancing the informational security of the country.

Screen shot of parliament's agenda for Dec. 4, 2018. Draft law on sanctions against Ukrainian TV channels highlighted
http://rada.gov.ua/

“Obviously, the authorities made some conclusions after the parliaments’ voting on the imposition of sanctions against two Ukrainian TV channels – 112 Ukraine and NewsOne – was criticized in the country and abroad. They decided to extend legal boundaries so that political decisions of the Verkhovna Rada against Ukrainian media become legal,” the head of Ukraine's National Union of Journalists said.

Activists of the FreeNet Ukraine Coalition slams the bill for the “exceptional right of the Verkhovna Rada to determine which media will fall under sanctions, which can turn into political censorship and pressure the media, in particular, during the elections.”

The lawyers of the Verkhovna Rada also found the bill lacking: “The draft law proposing amendments to the Law of Ukraine On the fight against terrorism seems flawed,” according to Chief Science Expertise Office of the Verkhovna Rada.

However, despite the criticism, the bill №9275 appeared in the agenda of December 4.

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