The U.S. believes that the illicit closing of Ukrainian opposition TV channels – NewsOne, 112 Ukraine, and ZiK is a violation of human rights as U.S. State Department 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Ukraine states.
Reciting facts of the violation of human rights in Ukraine, U.S. State Department report specifies that reasons announced by the Ukrainian authorities for revoking of the licenses of three TV channels are formal.
“There were reports the government used formal pretexts to silence outlets for being “pro-Russian” and for being critical of its national security policy,” the document states.
Besides, signs of the violation of human rights are present in the activity of the State Committee on TV and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine that announced unscheduled inspection of NewsOne, 112 Ukraine and ZiK TV channels and stated that “favorable coverage of an October 6 meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk might have violated national security laws”.
Moreover, it is mentioned that Ukrainian law enforcers held monitoring of the internet ‘at times without appropriate legal authority, and took significant steps to block access to websites based.”
MP of Ukraine, Chairman of Political Council of Opposition Platform - For Life Party Viktor Medvedchuk stated that Volodymyr Zelensky does not look for the reason of his rating fall and TV channels that constructively and objectively criticize him have nothing to do with it. MP underlined that Zelensky’s rating declines as he refuses to answer questions important for Ukrainians.
On February 2, Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree on sanctions against 112 Ukraine, NewsONE and ZiK TV channels. By this decree, he enforced the decision of the National Security and Defense Council on sanctions on the cancellation of the broadcasting licenses of the TV channels belonging to Taras Kozak (112 Ukraine, NewsOne, ZIK). According to the decree that is eligible since the moment of signature, the TV channels faced sanctions that will be active for five years. These sanctions make the broadcasting impossible.