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Petition to renew "Espreso," "Priamyy," and Channel 5 broadcasting registered on Cabinet of Ministers' website

18.04.2022, 14:49
Photo – Priamyy Channel
Photo – Priamyy Channel

A petition demanding to protect freedom of speech and renew the digital broadcasting of "Espreso," "Priamyy," and Channel 5 has been registered on the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine's website, "Espreso" website informs.

The petition was registered on April 18 by a citizen Iryna Handziuk.

The petition states that the BRT Concern had shut the channels down on April 4 "without warning and illegally."

"The broadcasting of independent Ukrainian channels "Espreso," "Priamyy," and Channel 5 was illegally stopped while a war with russia goes on in Ukraine, including information war. The BRT Concern leadership does not offer any explanation for its actions and ignores written appeals from television companies. We are convinced that the illegal shut-down of Ukrainian channels during wartime is nothing but sabotage that is harmful to the national interests of Ukraine, its government, and the President," the petition reads.

The petition calls for "immediate application of appropriate measures to renew the digital broadcasting of 'Espreso,' 'Priamyy,' and Channel 5."

"We are convinced that only by following a comprehensive information policy, upholding the freedom of speech principle, and rule of law we can both prevail in the enemy's informational assault and bring closer the general victory of Ukraine over the aggressor," the petition states.

As IMI has reported, on April 14 the staff of "Espreso," "Priamyy," and Channel 5 urged the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the mandated government bodies to bring the channels back on air.

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.

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