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"Espreso," Priamyy, and Channel 5 were shut down due to NSDC's joint telethon decision – the SSCS

09.05.2022, 15:45
Photo: Priamyy channel
Photo: Priamyy channel

The State Special Communications and Information Protection Service of Ukraine explained that the reason for turning Espreso, Priamyy, and Channel 5 off the digital air was implementation of the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine regarding the broadcast of a joint telethon.

This is stated in the Service's response to a request from Detector Media.

The request had been sent on April 4, and the answer came to the journalist on May 9.

Detector Media asked who specifically made the decision to shut down the digital broadcast of the three channels and what had motivated this decision. In early March, the National Security and Defense Council decided to broadcast the United News telethon (decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine of March 18, 2022 "On the implementation of a unified information policy during martial law," enacted by Presidential Decree of 19.03.2022 №152). The purpose of this decision is to provide the people with access to truthful, objective, and verified official information about the course of the war and the situation in the country. All channels of any form of ownership had and still have access to this telethon. The Concern is implementing this decision: on all available frequencies, the United News telethon is being broadcast in accordance with the established broadcasting schedule, the State Special Communications Service said in their response.

The Service also said that the BRT Concern "... is a state television and radio broadcasting, radio relay, and satellite communications operator. BRTC operates exclusively within the defined mandate," and since February 24 has been working under martial law "in accordance with the requirements of the Law of Ukraine 'On the Legal Regime of Martial Law,' Decree of the President of Ukraine of 24.02.2022 № 64 'On Martial Law in Ukraine,' and other legal, organizational, and administrative acts and normative documents. Some of these acts are of limited access."

On April 16, Detector Media asked the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council and the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy to find out who had decided to shut down the three channels and whathad motivated this decision. The editorial office has not received any answers so far.

As ІМІ has reported, on April 4, Channel 5, "Priamyy," and "Espreso" announced that on April 4 in the morning the Broadcasting, Radiocommunications, and Television Concern (BRTC) had shut down the broadcasting of these TV channels in T2 digital network. The channels declared that the shut down was illegal, as there is no document that would give the BRT Concern justifications for it, and that neither the National Council nor the Ministry of Defence, which is mandated to regulate the martial law, nor the NSDC or any other govenment bodies have approved any decisions about shutting the channels down.

Digital television provider "Zeonbud," which is currently subject to the governmental BRT Concern, is not aware of the reasons for "Espreso," "Priamyy," and Channel 5 being shut down.

The National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting has announced that it has not approved of the decision to shut down the "Priamyy," Channel 5, and "Espreso" channels, and does not have a mandate to do so.

On April 8, Media Movement and the Commission on Journalistic Ethics urged the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy to intervene in the situation with the shutdown of "Espresso," "Priamyy," and Channel 5, to explain the reasons for it, and to renew their broadcasting.

On April 8, the staff of "Espreso," "Priamyy," and Channel 5 urged the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy to react to the actions of the Broadcasting, Radiocommunications, and Television (BRT) Concern which, in their opinion, violate the constitutional rights of the channels' staff.

On April 14, the staff of "Espreso," "Priamyy," and Channel 5 issued an open letter to the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine Matti Maasikas about being banned from digital broadcasting.

On April 14, the staff of "Espreso," "Priamyy," and Channel 5 urged the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy to bring the channels back on air.

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