The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine did not support the report of the temporary investigative commission (TIC), which investigates the change of the owners of a few TV channels – NewsOne, 112 Ukraine and ZIK. Only 191 MPs voted for this decision, while 226 votes are needed. Speaker of the Parliament Dmytro Razumkov stated that the work of the temporary investigative commission is over.
The temporary investigative commission on the investigation of the activity of 112 Ukraine, NewsOne, and ZIK TV channels was created on October 17, 2019, and Olha Vasylevska-Smahlyuk was elected as its head.
Olha Vasylevska-Smahlyuk is the initiator of the creation of the temporary investigative commission on the investigation of information about the observation of demands during the change of the owners of 112 Ukraine, NewsOne, and ZIK TV channels.
MP from Opposition Platform – For Life faction Oleh Voloshyn commenting the stop of TIC’s work noted that the lawmakers of the EU countries were surprised by the attempt of interference of the state in the activity of the independent mass media.
“Exactly the creation of this commission I discussed with many colleagues in the European Parliament and many other parliaments of the EU countries – it caused great surprise because the state cannot interfere in the editorial policy of the TV channels. If there are some commercial issues about the purchase of the TV channels, the law enforcement bodies have enough authorities to investigate it. But any person, who watches TV channels mentioned by the commission, knows that they contain all political points of view, from far-right up to socialist and left-wing views. It is the problem for the initiators of the creation of this commission. They would like the whole society to be involved in the uniform of nationalism to come to the power forever and have no change to lose as they lost a year ago,” the lawmaker said.
“If our TV channels had no pluralism, Poroshenko still would be the president of Ukraine, not Zelensky. Thanks to the freedom of speech, exactly due to the fact that the Ukrainians are different in their points of view, they have the opportunity to hear different points of view on TV and we have the democratic country today,” Voloshyn added.
The International Editorial Board of 112 Ukraine considered the decision of the regulator to be biased and politically motivated, which cause further pressure on the rights of the journalists and restriction of the freedom of speech in Ukraine.
112 Ukraine, ZIK and NewsOne TV channels ceased broadcasting for 30 minutes. The action, as the media workers said, is a response to the attempts of Ukrainian authorities to suppress freedom of speech.
Earlier the regulatory committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine recommended to the parliament to create the temporary investigation committee (TIC) for investigation of the facts toward meeting the requirements during the change of the owners of 112 Ukraine, NewsOne, ZIK TV Channels.
On October 17, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has approved as a whole the draft resolution, which provides for the investigation of the activities of three TV channels - NewsOne, 112 Ukraine and ZIK. 278 MPs voted in favor of the decision.