Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
On December 11th, for the first time in the history of the European parliament a draft resolution on freedom of speech in Ukraine was registered. This was stated by the director general of the TV channel “112 Ukraine“ Artem Marchevsky on the sidelines of the French Senate.
“Today is a special day in the history of relations between Ukraine and the EU: in the European Parliament (EP), for the first time in its history, the process of considering a draft resolution under the name “On freedom of the press in Ukraine” started. This reason for this is the systematic political pressure put on the independent TV channels “112 Ukraine” and “NewsOne“, the apogee of which was the adoption on October 4th by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of a resolution on sanctions against these two broadcasters. Since then the managers and journalists of the TV channels have held about two dozen meetings with European politicians”said Marchevsky
Also, according to him, the issue of pressure being put on the media was brought to the attention of the EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Mogherini, and in her special statement about this she emphasised the inadmissibility of restricting freedom of speech under the pretext of defending national security. It is indicative that the registration of the draft resolution coincided with the discussion in European Parliament about the course of the implementation of the Agreement on Association, according to which the government in Kiev pledged to respect freedom of the media. It is expected that, after legal formal procedures have been completed, the draft resolution “On freedom of the press in Ukraine” will be submitted for consideration and discussion in the European Parliament during one of the next sessions at the beginning of 2019.
The director general of the “NewsOne” TV channel Vasily Golovanov supported his colleague: “Our visit to Strasbourg today is very important. We managed to meet three Euro-deputies, who deeply worry about freedom of speech in Ukraine. The document prepared by Euro-deputies will be presented in the European parliament today. I am sure that it won’t go unnoticed by Euro-deputies. Today is a historical day for our country – after all, the situation with democracy in Ukraine will be discussed from the tribune of the European Parliament. The most important issue for Euro-deputies remains freedom of speech in Ukraine”.
It is noted that the director generals of “112 Ukraine” and “NewsOne” Artem Marchevsky and Vasily Golovanov are on an official visit in the European Parliament again. There they – together with the British politician Jonathan Arnott, the representative of the European parliament from Germany Arne Gericke, and the representative of European Parliament from Great Britain Nathan Gill – discussed the process of considering the draft resolution under the name “On Freedom of the Press in Ukraine”.
“Euro-deputies continue to observe systematic oppression being inflicted by the Ukrainian government in relation to independent media, in the form of attacks on journalists and attempts to close TV channels. We were in Ukraine and saw this situation with own eyes, and we brought up this question in the European Parliament – we support freedom of the mass in Ukraine. That’s why in the European parliament the draft resolution of freedom of the media in Ukraine was introduced, which should become a serious argument for the Ukrainian authorities. Ukraine will be able to become a European state by adhering to these requirements”commented the Euro-deputy Jonathan Arnott
“In Ukraine there is a serious problems with freedom of speech, therefore it is important for it to become a strong state and not to rely on Western or Eastern partners. Ukraine won’t be able to become strong if there is no independent media agencies and journalists are afraid to say what they think. But if a journalist is afraid that their own safety can be endangered because of their statements, Ukraine will never become a strong state and furthermore a European state”noted the European Parliament deputy Arne Gericke
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