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112 Ukraine TV channel appeals for help to diplomatic establishments, international organizations for rights of journalists

The statement of Director General 112 Ukraine TV Channel Yegor Benkendorf due to protest of radical organizations near the building of the TV channel, which is planned for July 13
23:55, 12 July 2019

112 Agency

112 Ukraine TV channel takes this opportunity to express its respect for you and draw your attention to the urgent need to protect one of the most popular Ukrainian TV channels, the current attacks on which indicate a serious threat to freedom of speech and independence of the media as the main values of a democratic of society.

The decision to seek assistance of the diplomatic institutions and reputable international organizations, in particular those dealing with the protection of journalists rights, is dictated by the fact that 112 Ukraine TV channel is not only the target of attacks by certain politicians who come out against freedom of speech and basic principles of journalistic activity, the culmination of which was the resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on the application of sanctions as of October 4, 2018 (which, however, still does not apply), but today became at risk of direct threat of physical attack by radical organizations in the context of blatant disregard of this danger by the current Ukrainian government.

112 Ukraine TV channel is the leader of the country's news and information broadcasting and is one of the ten most rated Ukrainian TV channels. The scope of broadcasting of the channel consists of live-air guest studios, investigative journalism programs, several authoring interview programs and regular news bulletins. The channel also produces a number of full-length political talk shows, which are among the most popular political programs on Ukrainian television.

The TV channel is equally open to the representatives of various political forces, government bodies, public figures and experts, regardless of their political preferences. It is quite natural that people who criticize the current government also become guests of our broadcast, in particular, point to the insufficient efforts to establish peace and the return of Ukrainian prisoners, mistakes in the implementation of Ukraine's foreign policy, the government's failure to fulfill its election promises, the increase in corruption and curtailing freedom of speech. We emphasize that the communication with the guests of the channel takes place in a live television broadcast, which means such information is given "without cuts" and editing, and people who are in the studio have the opportunity to directly express their opinions on the most pressing issues that concern the society.

Unfortunately, with the approach of the parliamentary elections of 2019, more and more politicians are appearing in Ukraine who are trying to use the TV channel's editorial policy as an object of attack and a tool to ensure cheap political PR. The reason for the next attack on the channel, which may occur tomorrow, on Saturday, July 13, was the film of the world-famous director Oliver Stone, who, apart from Ukraine, is scheduled to be shown in more than 70 countries around the world. The organizer of the action, well-known head of the public right-radical organization "Nabaiduzhi" ("Indifferent"), Serhii Sternenko calls for an unauthorized action near the building where 112 Ukraine TV channel is located and by all possible means to block its work. We do not exclude that these actions will be accompanied by damage to the property of the TV channel and, possibly, to violent acts against journalists. With sadness, we state that the pressure from radical organizations occurs under the conditions of blatant disregard of this problem by the new Ukrainian government.

112 Ukraine channel believes that the attempts to stop its activities are a part of a larger process and concern the unsatisfactory situation associated with maintaining freedom of speech in Ukraine. Ukrainian and Western human rights organizations, politicians, government officials and independent media experts have repeatedly drawn attention to this.

Therefore, we appeal to you with a request to express your position on the protection of our right to a profession, the right of people to receive objective information, as well as the right to freedom of expression, the right to think and speak freely. For the majority of our employees, 112 Ukraine TV channel is one of the last islands of freedom of speech, that is, one of the last places left in Ukraine for self-realization in the profession of a journalist.

This appeal was sent to the President of the European Commission, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, High Commissioner for Human Rights, Program Coordinator at Committee to Protect Journalists Europe and Central Asia, General Secretary of the International Federation of Journalists, to international organizations Human Rights Watch, Freedom House, Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders, as well as in the European Federation of Journalists.

112 Ukraine TV channel once again emphasizes that during the entire period of its existence, it adheres to the principles of journalistic work, on equal rights it provides an opportunity for all Ukrainian politicians, government officials and independent experts to express their position, and also does not avoid coverage of painful political is is and social topics, and it is precisely this position of the channel that causes and will cause r stance from individual politicians and political forces.

Sincerely,

Director General 112 Ukraine TV Channel Yegor Benkendorf

112 Agency

112 Agency

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