The ban of any mass media jeopardizes the functioning of a free society and disrupts freedom of speech and information as MEP Helmut Scholz reported.
“Freedom of mass media is one of the most important components of freedom of expression and information. It is necessary for the democratic functioning of the state and it is provided by the international agreements. All 27 countries-members of the EU, as well as Ukraine, signed and ratified proper international commitments. These rights can be limited in no circumstances, excluding the presence of special grounds and the decision of the Constitutional Court. In case of any ban, the main grounds and reasons for the particular decision should be open and transparent. In the case of the ban on Ukrainian news TV channels, Zelensky undermines confidence in democracy and inflicted harm to the democratic dialogue. in my opinion, three suffered TV channels should have a right and possibility to officially oppose the decision at the independent court as their activity is absolutely transparent toward the sources of finance and it is enshrined on a statutory level that it is obliged to provide objective information to the Ukrainian society. The ban of any mass media jeopardizes the functioning of a free society and disrupts freedom of speech and information,” he noted.
Meanwhile, the MEP underlined that he supports the International Federation of Journalists that condemned such actions – they remind that it is the politically-motivated attack on freedom of speech.
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.