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Suspilne files a statement with the ECHR for TV tower shelling

24.10.2022, 16:44

Suspilne Broadcasting filed a statement with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for TV tower shelling. This was announced on Suspilne's corporate website.

The filed statement concerned Russia allegedly violating the Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, as well as international protocols. It mentioned the Ukrainian media being unable to spreading information because of Russia's shelling, missile strikes and air raids on TV towers, infrastructure facilities being seized, etc.

"Article 10 of the Convention provides for the freedom to adhere to one's views, receive and share information and ideas without interference on the part of state bodies and regardless of borders. From late February to mid-September, Russia has been carrying out a series of attacks to make Suspilne's work impossible, thus violating the broadcaster's right to distribute information," said the representative of Suspilny's interests, lawyer Serhiy Zayets.

Suspilne pointed out that as a result of Russia's attacks:

  • TV towers in Кyiv, Kharkiv and Izyum, Lysychansk (Luhansk oblast), Кorosten (Zhytomyr oblast), Bilopillya (Sumy oblast), Аntopol (Rivne oblast), Vinnytsia, Оrikhove (Zaporizhzhia oblast) have suffered missile attacks or air raids. The broadcasting in these territories was temporarily disabled;
  • Russian troops took over a TV tower in Melitopol, which resulted in the broadcasting being down in several cities;
  • there have been attempts to jam Suspilne's signal on the Amos satellite;
  • there has been an attempt to destroy the TV archive by planting a virus on the website.

"Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Suspilne has been providing vital information about the army's work, air raid threats, evacuation routes, advice on surviving in combat areas, psychological support, and more. Russia has been cynically, in violation of the laws and customs of war, firing at TV towers so as to prevent us from informing people of the danger in time. Broadcasting of most of those TV towers has since been restored, but the one in Melitopol remains occupied, and the Izyum TV tower is still destroyed. These events were covered in both Ukrainian and international mass media," commented Mykola Chernotytsky, Chairman of the Board at Suspilne Broadcasting.

"We realized that it is not only a violation of the broadcaster's right to distribute information. It is the Russian authorities's policy to block all sources of information that contradict Russian propaganda," he added.

Suspilne notes that the work of JSC PBCU, 100% of whose shares belong to the state, are conducted on the basis of independence of management and current activities from state authorities, local self-governments, their officials and heads, political parties, enterprises, institutions, organizations, and individuals. The applicant does not exercise state powers and has the status of a non-governmental organization in accordance with Article 34 of the Convention, hence they can be an applicant in the Court.

The application was submitted with the support of the Ukrainian Helsinki Union for Human Rights.

As of October 24, IMI experts have recorded 14 cases of TV towers being shelled or taken over.

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