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UN believed ban on Medvedchuk’s TV channels could affect freedom of speech

11.03.2021, 15:47
Slovo i Dilo/ ZIK
Slovo i Dilo/ ZIK

UN found that the decision to ban NewsOne, 112 Ukraine and ZIK could affect freedom of expression in Ukraine. as to the report of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, as Radio Liberty reported.

"While the legitimate aim of the state is to protect national security, in particular by countering misinformation, OHCHR is concerned that this decision may affect freedom of expression in Ukraine and recalls that the nations shall respect, protect and ensure the right to freedom of opinions, including the right to seek, receive and spread a variety of information and ideas, " said Matilda Bogner, Head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.

As IMI reported, on February 2, the head of state enacted the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of February 2, 2021 "On the application of personal special economic and other restrictive measures (sanctions)", which provides for the introduction of sanctions against the people for five years MP Taras Kozak and legal entities licensed by 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZIK TV channels.

On February 2, 112 Ukraine, ZIK, and NewsOne said they viewed the sanctions as a political crackdown and would fight for the right to continue broadcasting.

 On February 3, several NGOs and experts said that sanctions against Medvedchuk's TV channels, namely “112 Ukraina”, NewsOne and ZIK,  did not pose threat to freedom of speech, since they were employed as tools of foreign influence and repeatedly threatened Ukraine's information security. This is said in a joint statement published on February 3 by the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center.

On February 3, the United States supported Ukraine's sanctions against Russian influence.

The head of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, Serhiy Tomilenko, called the sanctions against 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZIK "a crackdown on freedom of speech" on his Facebook page . He said the union would alert the International Federation of Journalists, the European Federation of Journalists and the OSCE Office for Media Freedom about this measure.

On February 3, the International and European Federations of Journalists have condemned the sanctions targeting the TV channels related to the MP from the OPFL Viktor Medvedchuk. The organization called the measures an "an extra-judicial and politically motivated ban and a blatant attack on press freedom that must be urgently reversed".

On February 6, Media Movement (Media Rukh) supported sanctions, but urged not to persecute its employees.

On February 9, it became known that the regional organizations of the National Union of Journalists jointly stated that they did not share the opinion of Serhiy Tomilenko, the head of the National Union of Journalists , who criticized the application of sanctions to 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZIK.

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