Dzhaparova Speaks at Global Conference for Media Freedom in London
"Ukraine adheres to its international obligations with regard to ensuring the rights and freedoms of Ukrainian citizens, of which media independence from state censorship and the protection of the right to the profession of journalist are paramount. The establishment of independent public broadcasting in Ukraine, which the state subsidises but does not regulate in terms of its editorial policy, is a case in point.
"That being said, the most pressing challenge being faced by Ukraine is the complete lack of freedom of speech in its temporarily occupied territories. The national broadcasting system has been completely shut down in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol and parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. In its stead, another broadcasting system—an illegal one—has been set up. In Crimea alone, Russia illegally exploits more than 500 television and radio frequencies. Ukrainian online media outlets are blocked out; the signal of Ukrainian broadcasters from Ukrainian-controlled territory is suppressed by the occupying power; the import of Ukrainian newspapers and magazines is banned; and an all-out censorship is in place.
"Political persecutions; searches of and attacks on journalists and news offices; imprisonments and tortures; partial tribunals and groundless sentences for reasons of political activism—they all have led to the complete disappearance of freedom of speech and expression. The world will recall the cases of imprisoned Ukrainian journalists Mykola Semena, Roman Sushchenko, and Stanislav Asieiev, which are only the tip of the iceberg of Russia’s crimes against Ukrainian citizens. Dozens of news media have been forced out or have ceased to exist. Some of them, including Crimean Tatar TV channel ATR, are now subsidised by the state.
"With the foregoing in view, Ukraine continues to build up the necessary infrastructure with a view to creating an information alternative in the occupied territories. This includes the setting up of new TV towers and the allocation of new radio and television frequencies, so that residents of the occupied territories could have access to Ukrainian media.
"It is Ukraine’s understanding that impunity and the lack of appropriate international action against the violations of freedom of speech in the temporarily occupied territories by the Russian Federation will bring about even more impunity.
"Therefore, Ukraine calls upon the international community to take a more proactive stance with respect to the protection of freedom of speech in Ukraine’s occupied territories.
"We welcome the initiative to create a Media Freedom Contact Group.
"The attention that this international platform will draw to the consequences of the occupation regarding the curtailment of all freedoms in Crimea and the Donbas will serve the cause of democracy and freedom in the world."
To Articles List