Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
On October 18th the National Council of Television and Broadcasting postponed for an indefinite period of time the consideration of the results of an unscheduled inspection of the “NewsOne“ channel and further actions concerning the allegedly revealed violations. This was stated by the Director General of “NewsOne” Vasily Golovanov on the air of the channel.
“Today the National Council had two options: recognise the violations that were specified in the act, or to not recognise these violations. The National Council opted for a third option – postponing this question for another occasion, for an indefinite period of time,” said Golovanov.
Earlier in the same day in the Verkhovna Rada there weren’t enough votes to approve the draft of resolution No. 9157-P on the cancellation of the decision to urge the National Security and Defence Council (NSDC) to impose sanctions on the “112 Ukraine“ and “NewsOne” TV channels. 57 People’s Deputies voted “for” the draft of the resolution, but no fewer than 226 voted are needed to cancel the decision. Thus deputies confirmed the appeal to the NSDC.
Earlier the chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Andriy Parubiy said that he will sign the resolution on approving the proposals for the imposition of personal special economic and other restrictive measures on legal entities connected to the TV channels, after consideration of the submitted drafts of the resolutions on cancellation.
As a reminder, on October 4th the Verkhovna Rada urged the NSDC to impose sanctions on the “112 Ukraine” and “NewsOne” TV channels, in particular to cancel their licenses and to forbid them from using Ukrainian radio frequencies. As the experts of “Uspishna Varta” noted earlier, the resolution of the Verkhovna Rada violates not only the Constitution of Ukraine, but also a number of the international obligations that were undertaken by Ukraine.
On October 11th the National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting appointed an unscheduled inspection at LLC “Novosti 24 chasa” (NewsOne TV channel) for the purpose of verifying information about the structure of its property. The “NewsOne” group officially reported that the channel was being put under constant pressure and various political forces and aggressive-minded pseudo-activists regularly made attempts to interfere with the editorial operation of the channel. This was stated in the letter published on the website of the channel.
On October 12th the National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting appointed an unscheduled inspection at LLC “Broadcasting Company 112-TV” (“112 Ukraine”). The basis for carrying out the verification was the recent monitoring of the airwaves of the channel during September – October, 2018 and also the appeals of the People’s Deputy of Ukraine Tatiyana Rychkova and representatives of the public, who complained about violations of journalistic standards, the use of language of hostility, etc.
As the experts of “Uspishna Varta” specified when monitoring the observance of political and civil rights and freedoms in Ukraine for July-September, 2018, during this period of time the “NewsOne” and “112” TV channels took a systematic battering from authorities and law enforcement bodies. The strengthening of the pressure being put on these media agencies may be connected to the change of ownership that the TV channels experienced.
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