The resolution of the Verkhovna Rada on sanctions against "112 Ukraine" and NewsOne TV channels is not a pro or con decision. It means transferring this issue to the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) as it lays outside the parliament powers. People's deputy from the Bloc of Petro Poroshenko faction Andriy Antonishchak commented on the situation in the air of 112 Ukraine.
“We did not vote “for,” and we did not vote “against.” We did not participate at all. We believe that this is not a function of the Verkhovna Rada - there is no need to shift the responsibilities of the Security Service (SBU), the National Security and Defense Council, and the National Commission on Television and Radio Broadcasting they make decisions. Let them give an assessment within their competence," Antonischak claimed.
The people’s deputy added that the 112 Ukraine TV channel invites various guests and provides different points of view regarding the current events.
"112 Ukraine TV channel invites different guests. What struck me was that those colleagues, who show up on "112 Ukraine" almost every day, voted for this resolution. 112 Ukraine have not been inviting me for, probably, 4 months, but this is not a question of personalities. Today it is about 112 Ukraine, tomorrow it will be about some other channel. If it is a matter of Boyko (Yuriy Boyko, MP, heading the electoral list of Opposition Bloc – Ed.), then ask him personally these questions, ask him about his position... The channel provided him with a platform to voice his ideas. This person has expressed his position. Then ask him what did he mean," Antonischak added.
People's deputy Antonischak was absent during the voting. A total of 102 deputies from the Bloc of Petro Poroshenko faction, 98 MPs voted “for,” 3 abstained, and none of the MPs from this faction voted “against.”
Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada urges 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)”.
The general director of the TV channel Yegor Benkendorf has claimed that efforts to halt its activities are a part of a larger process concerning unsatisfactory situation with respect for the freedoms of expression. According to him, 112 Ukraine TV channel has to confirm the impossibility to protect its rights independently by legal tools, and soon, it might lead to cessation of the broadcasting.
The appeal was sent to the President of the European Commission Donald Tusk, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Liliane Maury-Pasquier, President of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe Marija Pejčinović Burić, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, Coordinator of the Europe and Central Asia Program of the Committee to Protect Journalists Nina Ognianova, General Secretary of the International Federation of Journalists Anthony Bellanger.
In addition, appeals were sent to international organizations Human Rights Watch, Freedom House, Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders and the European Federation of Journalists.
Moreover, the appeal was sent to the international organizations Human Rights Watch, Freedom House, Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders and International Federation of Journalists.
112 Ukraine TV channel emphasizes again that during its existence, it has been following the principles of the journalistic work, giving an opportunity to express one’s opinion for all the Ukrainian politicians, the representatives of the governmental bodies, and independent experts. Also, the channel does not avoid covering acute political and social issues, and such a position of the TV channel causes and will cause opposition from individual politicians and political forces.
The staff of 112 Ukraine TV channel insists that the steps made by the Ukrainian Parliament, which aim to apply sanctions against 112 Ukraine TV channel are nothing but a political decision; there is not enough evidence to make such decision, which badly lacks argumentation and may be considered unconstitutional.