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Statement of International Editorial Council of 112 Ukraine TV Channel on protection of journalists’ rights, plans of Ukraine’s President’s Office to control channel

The International Editorial Council intends to put the matter of the possible corporate raid of 112 Ukraine TV channel, impunity of the far-right organizations and inadequate security of the journalists to the agenda of the Delegation from the European Parliament to the Parliamentary Committee of the EU-Ukraine Association
15:39, 20 August 2019

112 Agency

Because of numerous publications of the journalist materials in Ukrainian mass media (theBabel, Novoe Vremia, Liga.net) on the plans of Head of the President’s Office Andriy Bohdan to undertake a corporate raid of 112 Ukraine TV channel with the use of the criminal proceedings opened by the Security Service of Ukraine with the violation of the rules of the investigative jurisdiction and his intentions to arrest the property of the channel and due to the systematic suppression of the rights of the journalists and the freedom of speech in Ukraine, the International Editorial Council of 112 Ukraine TV Channel, which includes the members of the European Parliament Nathan Gill (Great Britain), David Coburn (Great Britain), Arne Gericke (Germany), appeals to the Ukrainian authority with the next statement:

  1. The International Editorial Council demands from the top leadership of the state and the law enforcement bodies of Ukraine, particularly, the President of Ukraine, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine and Head of the Security Service of Ukraine to urgently comment on the information published at the Ukrainian mass media on the fact that behind the criminal proceeding opened against 112 Ukraine TV channel Head of the Office of the President Andriy Bohdan stays who tries to control the most popular information TV channel of Ukraine.
  2. The International Editorial Council demands from the top leadership of the state and authorities involved in the activity of the mass media to confirm their commitment to the freedom of speech and other democratic values, which should underpin the Ukrainian society. We believe that neglect of the authority by the numerous appeals of the TV channel concerning the threat to its activity and inaction of the authority in the neutralization of such threats lead to the number of the unprecedented hostile actions against the TV channel:
  • On the night of July 13, the building of 112 Ukraine TV channel was shelled from the grenade launcher. According to the Criminal Code of Ukraine, the attack at the TV channel was qualified as the terrorist act. The Ukrainian authority not only lacks the results of the investigation but also refrained from commenting on this incident.
  • At the beginning of August, 112 Ukraine TV channel demanded to prosecute MP Serhiy Vysotskiy who urged to shell 112 Ukraine from the anti-tank guided missile during the air of one of the TV channels. The TV channel called these urges unacceptable and those, which promoted discord; however, the Ukrainian authority also ignored the statement of the lawmaker.
  • On August 14, the mass media published the information that the judges of the Sixth Appeal Administrative Court, which consider the case on the extension of license for 112 Ukraine TV channel, were summoned to the head of the President’s Office. The direct pressure on the judges may result in the stop of the digital broadcasting of the TV channel and then the authority will implement the plan on the stop of the satellite broadcasting and elimination of the channel from the cable networks. The TV channel has already asked the President of Ukraine to condemn the possible influence of Andriy Bohdan on the judicial branch of power in which he sees the continuation of the malpractice of the former president of Ukraine, when the necessary decision of the judges were provide by the phone call.
  • On August 22-23, the National Council on TV and Radio Broadcasting will hold the unplanned check of the TV channel. In our opinion, the holding of the unscheduled check may show the search of the slightest point of law to continue putting pressure on the TV channel.
  • Moreover, we believe that the inaction of the Ukrainian authority is a signal of the impunity for the far-right organizations, which planned the protests against 112 Ukraine TV channel and which members are the source of the constant threat to the journalists of the TV channel.
  1. The International Editorial Council intends to put the matter of the possible corporate raid of 112 Ukraine TV channel, impunity of the far-right organizations and inadequate security of the journalists to the agenda of the Delegation from the European Parliament to the Parliamentary Committee of the EU-Ukraine Association, which member is MEP and member of the International Editorial Council Nathan Gill. Particularly this committee is responsible for all issues of the inter-parliamentary cooperation with Ukraine, consequently, the prosecution of 112 Ukraine TV channel may become the reason of the grave international incident. Moreover, the information on the events around 112 Ukraine TV channel will be provided to the top European and international organizations, which deal with the protection of the rights of human and democratic freedoms as well as it will be sent to the foreign diplomatic offices in Ukraine.
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