The Ukrainian government is trying to silence those media that criticize its policies. Dr. Maximilian Kra, the MEP from Germany, (Alternative for Germany party) said this during a round table in Strasbourg regarding media freedom in Ukraine.
"When I look at a situation, then it’s not convincing and not pleasing that you have free information on the press on TV, crucial for every society. In a democracy people have the right to get information for free and to get information from different viewpoints. History testifies: every time they tried to shut their mouths to certain media, this always led to the establishment of a dictatorship and big problems in society. The government has to accept that there are media that is critical towards its own politics and that is the basis of any democratic and free society. So, when I read what is happening in Ukraine now, and I read it not just from the information I got from 112, it is openly discussed, you can read it everywhere on the internet, all these incidents are very well documented. And we have to conclude that something is wrong. Obviously, the government is fighting for its own policy not by convincing people, but also by silencing those who have other opinions and have other ideas," he said.
Kra emphasized that in this way, instead of persuasion, there is a ban on criticism, and this is incompatible with European principles.
“And I think that we can’t be silent to that. Ukraine is on its way to the future, which is not completely clear what it looks like but it is but it is obvious that the Ukraine has a bridge between Western Europe and Russia, looks for more connection to the European Union. That includes that it has to accept te rules of law and the freedom of speech, it has to accept that TV channels have the right to broadcast freely without any government interference. It is also a question of Western European double standards that we look very precisely on what is happening in Russia and other countries, but we are too silent on what is going on in Kyiv, Ukraine. It is important that we bring those issues into public debate," the MEP said.
Kra emphasized that it is not enough if the government proclaims itself pro-Western to be forgiven by the oppression of freedom of speech and other oppression of democracy.
“Even if the government claims that it is pro-Western, we should not evaluate it by its statements, but by its devotion to European values. Despite the fact that the authorities in Ukraine do with respect to freedom of speech, I have great doubts about the pro-Western nature of this government. If they want the EU to be open to Ukraine, then the Ukrainian authorities cannot behave in this way, they must ensure the conditions under which all journalists, newspapers, television channels should have the right to freely convey their point of view and assess events . It in Ukraine If we can help it, if this question is important for the whole Ukrainian society, I would be happy to join this believe that we should be doing in the European Parliament," the MEP added.
As we reported, the National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting revoked digital broadcasting licenses from 112 Ukraine TV Channel