Two ATR journalists suspended cooperation with "Krym.Realii" and Radio Liberty (Ukraine)
The editor-in-chief of the news service ZAMAN in the TV company ATR, Osman Pashaev, and Vice Director General of the TV channel ATR Aider Muzhdabaev announced that they cease cooperation with the projects “Krym.Realii” and Radio Liberty (Ukraine) due to denial of broadcasting for the program about the Crimean Tatar autonomy. This was the subject of their official address to the administration of the website “Krym.Realii”, Radio Liberty (Ukraine), and the Radio Liberty European office in Prague. The address was published on the Facebook page of Aider Muzhdabaev.
As the authors of the address claim, "lately a campaign to limit freedom of press started against the ATR journalists."
As the authors of the address claim, on March 21 the leader of the Radio Liberty project “Krym.Realii” Volodymyr Prytula wrote on Muzhdabaev’s Facebook page that the journalist should not comment on the internal political situation in Ukraine (in particular, by publishing criticism on homophobic statements of Mr. Kiva, and should not even re-post materials published in Ukrainian mass media), because he has the passport of a citizen of the Russian Federation.
Later, on March 23, journalist Osman Pashaev received from the producer of the radio “Krym.Realii” a notice that his program planned for broadcasting in the morning of March 24, would be cancelled, as the declared topic “Crimean Tatar autonomy: lack of understanding of its restoration as a part of Ukraine” “is presented in a biased way, and is debatable”, the address explains.
“We declare that we consider inadmissible this kind of public rhetoric from employees and leaders of the media outlet that is financed by the Congress of the United States, where freedom of press is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution and its extended interpretations, provided in the US Congress and Supreme Court Acts. We also inform that any form of prohibitions or public recommendations that cause de-facto restriction of freedom of expression of opinions related to the ethnic background, race, or citizenship, are banned by the US Congress and by the Parliaments of the EU member states”, the address stated.
Also, the journalists mentioned that the idea of creating a Crimean Tatar National autonomy within Ukraine is not banned by law; on the contrary, it is an officially acknowledged by the country's Parliament as a guaranteed right for self-determination of the Crimean Tatar people within Ukraine. Also, this idea was several times voiced by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, who recommended the MPs to make the relevant amendments to the text of the Constitution.