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Bill “On defense of information space” is another step to close TV channels, - expert

The bill is at the committees of the Verkhovna Rada at the moment
17:32, 14 November 2018

112 Agency

The bill “On the defense of the information space” is another step to close the opposition TV channels. Lawyer Vasyl Smetana made such statement as 112 Ukraine reported.

“The bill is really dangerous. As for today, it is at the committees of the Verkhovna Rada. Due to the previsions initiative of the Verkhovna Rada, the TV channel was forced to appeal with a petition to the president, come to Europe and tell about this danger to the members of the European Parliament and other partners of Ukraine,” he said.

Related: 112 Ukraine General Producer Marchevsky makes statement on future of TV channel

“Today we see another threat to the freedom of speech in Ukraine and it is connected, probably, with the fact that the ownership structure of one of the TV channels that can be closed, does not correspond to the law on the sanctions. This bill was specially submitted, most likely, due to the fact that they (the Verkhovna Rada, - 112.international) understood that they cannot close one of the TV channels. It means that the threat of the close of the TV channel is serious,” he added.

“Particular political forces seek to implement this initiative. This bill is another step to close the TV channel. It is a great risk for NewsOne TV channel as it is also planned to impose sanctions against the TV channels with the Ukrainian form of the ownership,” he concluded.

Related: 112 Ukraine TV channel opens its press office in Brussels

The Verkhovna Rada is offered to impose the censorship under the cover of the fight against aggression of Russia by the adoption of the bill #9275 “On the defense of the information space”.

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)'. 

Related: Ukrainian MPs appeal against Parliament voting on sanctions against 112 Ukraine and NewsOne

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. 

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.

Related: EU to consider issue of Ukrainian authorities' pressure on 112 Ukraine and NewsOne TV channels

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.

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