“Over the past month in the fight for freedom of speech in Ukraine, me and my colleague from NewsOne Vasyl Golovanov managed to meet with the European politicians who represent the widest range of the political forces. In particular, Pavel Telička, Vice-President of the European Parliament from the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, Heidi Hautala, Vice-President of the European Parliament from Greens–European Free Alliance, Fabio Castaldo, Vice-President of the European Parliament from Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy, members of the European Parliament William Earl of Dartmouth, Nathan Gill, David Coburn, Jonathan Arnott, member of the European Parliament from Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists Peter Lundgren, Georgi Pirinski from political group of Socialists and Democrats. Besides, ten more MPs have signed the statement to the Verkhovna Rada in support of the independent media. All these politicians and parties which they represent have different positions concerning the current international agenda. Yet, they are united with the interest in the democratic development of Ukraine, the obligation of the standards of media’s freedom in the country. Strenuous attempts of the authorities and its accomplices to discredit the European politicians, who support us, prove that they are helpless facing a need to be responsible for correspondence to the values which the leadership of our state loudly proclaims on the international stage”.
In addition, in his speech, Marchevsky noted that none of the members of the European Parliament, whom they have met and will meet, has never violated the laws of Ukraine, has never visited the occupied territories and never expressed approval of such occupation.
“All the other political positions which these politicians support are the reflection of pluralism and freedom of thought which dominate in the EU, which are so desirable in our country. The supporters of the censorship in Ukraine do not understand this, answering uncomfortable questions of the Europeans concerning pressure on media, they consider them “Kremlin’s agents.” It appears, that there are only “Kremlin’s agents” in Europe where we so aspire. The question is: why would Ukraine aspire to Europe? This question is rhetorical. Let everyone answer honestly. And I have an answer for myself. I can even help our authorities: you can’t fight against Russia by building Russia in Ukraine. In particular, through pressure on the independent media. It doesn’t work like this. And the members of the EU understand it. Therefore, they support us in the struggle for the freedom of speech,” Marchevsky said.
Besides, the General Producer of 112 Ukraine was a guest on “Ukrainian format” political talk-show at NewsOne TV channel, where his opponents, who voted for the sanctions against the TV channels, could not give reasons for their actions.
“If politicians have complaints concerning the structure of the board of our TV channel, all the information is available on our website. If people’s deputies have some other facts, please, provide them,” he stated.
Marchevsky also noted that the viewers would notice the restrictions of the freedom of speech and they can change their choice: “I urge the voters not to vote for the theatre of the absurd. Nor it’s clear why we have problems in our state. The people’s representatives should understand one simple truth: freedom of speech is a basic value of the democratic society. If the authority tries to develop a democratic society, it should learn to respect its values. If you can’t do it, what are doing in the parliament then?”
Earlier, the leaders of 112 Ukraine and NewsOne Artem Marchevskyi and Vasyl Golovanov paid an official visit to the European Parliament, where they enjoyed the support of the MPs in terms of prevention of sanctions against these TV channels. Heidi Hautala, Vice President of the European Parliament, and another group of MEPs expressed concern about the situation with the freedom of speech in Ukraine. Besides, a signature collection is conducted in Brussels under the appeal to the Verkhovna Rada on the protection of 112 Ukraine and NewsOne TV channels.
As it was reported earlier, European parliamentarians David Coburn, Jonathan Arnott visited the main office of 112 Ukraine TV channel on October 30. Their goal was to personally find out the reasons for the scandalous voting on sanctions against 112 Ukraine and NewsOne and to monitor the situation with the freedom of speech in Ukraine.
Earlier, Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada urged the country’s National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine to introduce sanctions against several Ukrainian TV channels. 229 MPs supported the draft law No. 9157 on 'Approval of recommendations to introduce personal special economic sanctions and other restrictive measures (sanctions)'.
Thirteen European parliamentarians appealed to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to revoke the decision on imposing sanctions on 112 Ukraine and NewsOne TV channels. The leaders of 112 Ukraine and NewsOne channels arrived in Brussels personally to talk to the lawmakers and get their support. The issue of freedom of speech in Ukraine is raised at the international conferences, forums, and in the offices of European parliamentarians. The MPs carefully study the situation regarding the sanctions against Ukrainian broadcasters and sign the petition.
112 Ukraine is an informational and analytical TV channel which broadcasts 18,5 hours per day on air and uses modern technologies to be the first channel to provide the unbiased information on important and interesting events going on in Ukraine and in the world. This is mentioned in the respective statement by Artem Marchevskyi, the Chief Producer, and Yehor Benkendorf, Director General of 112 Ukraine.