Dozens of journalists of 112 Ukraine, NewsOne, ZiK and Pershiy Nezalezhniy TV channels illegally closed by Zelensky, as well as hundreds of activists, held the protest at Mariinsky Park downtown Kyiv. They tried to pass the appeal to President of the European Council Charles Michel toward the illicit actions of the authorities. The journalists and activists hold posters with urges to listen to them. Some of them put sticky tape on their mouth as a sign of the fight against freedom of speech in Ukraine.
Correspondent of Pershiy Nezalezhniy TV channel Diana Dudchenko reminded that yesterday, the journalists and activists held a protest near the Representative’s Office of the EU; however, they did not succeed to pass the letter to Charles Michel.
“We, together with our colleagues, also the employees of three illegally closed TV channels, peculiarly, co-incorporators of the new Pershiy Nezalezhniy TV channel that was also closed in an hour of broadcasting – we came today to Mariinsky Palace amid hopes that we will succeed to pass the letter with our demands to President of the European Council Charles Michel. I would like to say that we tried to it many times, sent the letter by e-mail, tried to do it yesterday; however, we did not succeed. Currently, we are not allowed to come closer to Mariinsky Palace because the whole perimeter around it is besieged; there are many law enforcers. I would like to note that even the activists were not allowed to come who wanted to come and support us in the fight for the right to work independently, in the fight for the right, for freedom of speech,” Dudchenko underlined.
The number of MPs from the Opposition Platform – For Life came to support the journalists and activists, particularly, Nestor Shufrych and Ilya Kiva.
The journalists of 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZiK TV channels appealed to President of the European Council Charles Michel with the request to meet due to the illegal closing of three opposition TV channels in Ukraine.
The mass media employees sent the proper letter to Spokesperson of Michel, Barend Leyts.
“Journalists of three Ukrainian TV channels 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZiK take this opportunity to express their honor and address with a kind request of having a meeting during your visit to Ukraine to discuss the illegal shutting of the channels by Ukrainian authorities. In grave breach of basic principles of rule of law, the Ukrainian authorities have banned the broadcasting of three leading TV stations – the decision that has got increasingly sound condemnation on the part of respected international human rights watchdogs. Thus, we will be honored to meet you in order to convey our concerns over the blatant attack on the freedom of press in Ukraine,” the letter says.
According to the journalists, “meeting with the affected journalists would demonstrate the consistency of the EU’s support of human rights and freedoms”.
Moreover, on March 2, over 1,000 people came to the Representative’s Office of the EU in Ukraine to draw the attention of Europe to illegal actions of the Ukrainian authorities toward 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZiK TV channels.
Besides the Ukrainians who cares about the destiny of the freedom of speech in Ukraine, the MPs from the Opposition platform – For Life – Ilya Kiva, Nestor Shufrych, Viktor Chorny, Renat Kuzmin, Antonina Slavitska, Oleh Voloshyn, Oleksandr Koltunovych, Mykhailo Makarenlo came to downtown Kyiv, at Volodymyrska Street. The journalists of three illicitly closed NewsOne, 112 Ukraine and ZiK TV channels stayed with them near the Representative’s Office of the EU.
The journalists requested the meeting with President of the European Council Charles Michel who pays the official visit to Ukraine. The employees of NewsOne, 112 Ukraine, ZiK Diana Panchenko, Rostyslav Sukhachov, Yulia Koltak and Bohdan Aminov intended to appeal to him with the letter that tells in details about the censorship in the country and attack on the freedom of speech.