Media Movement is concerned about the searches at UA:PBC and urges not to allow blocking independent operation of UA:PBC
On 30 August 2019 the State Bureau of Investigations accompanied by the representatives of the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) conducted searches in the premises of the National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine (UA:PBC) and in the place of residence of Zurab Alasania – Head of the Management Board of UA:PBC.
State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) informed that they are conducting investigation activities within the pre-trial criminal proceeding on the alleged unlawful actions of UA:PBC’s authorities, in particular “abuse of official capacity aimed at unlawful personal benefit/advantage or at the benefit of other individuals or legal persons”. UA:PBC states that during the searches its employees “agreed on voluntary basis to provide to the law enforcement representatives all materials and documents. They were doing so during several hours”.
Media Movement is concerned about the fact of criminal proceeding, since as of today the Public Broadcaster is the only media company which is not owned by the oligarchs and works entirely in the interests of the Ukrainian citizens. According to the results of the permanent monitoring held by NGO “Detector Media” as well as in accordance with the results of the monitoring of media coverage of the election campaigns 2019 held by a coalition of CSOs with the support of the Council of Europe, UA:Pershyi is the sole TV channel which does not broadcast materials with the signs of being paid for and maintained independent position during this year election campaigns.
We urge the investigative bodies to refrain from actions that the public and the international community may perceive as a pressure on independent media. We emphasize the inadmissibility of any actions that would impede the normal operation of the broadcaster, such as its broadcasting or production of content. We also call on the investigating bodies, considering the public importance of the matter, to provide more information and justification as to whether the cases under investigation belong to investigative jurisdiction of the SBI and SSU.
We share the view that under any circumstances the editorial policy of the Public Broadcaster should remain independent and free from interference by public authorities, political and business groups, and its financial policy and economic activity should be transparent.
The statement was supported by
Media movement “Media for conscious choice”
Institute of Mass Information
Institute of Regional Press Development
Information campaign “On the other side of news”
Center for Human Rights “ZMINA”
Academy of Ukrainian Press
Independent Association of Broadcasters
Donetsk Institute of Information
Center for Democracy and Rule of Law
We would like to remind that on February 5, the creation of the "Journalists for a Conscious Choice" Media Movement - which was designed to provide citizens with the opportunity to elect the President and the Parliament on the basis of complete and reliable information - was announced in Ukraine The leading Ukrainian media - TV channels, radio stations, print and online media - as well as media NGOs joined the Media Movement. The first signatories to the Media Movement's memorandum were UA: Pershyi, Ukrainian Radio, Hromadske Radio [Public Radio], Ukrinform IA, Interfax-Ukraine IA, Liga.net, Dzerkalo Tyzhnya. Ukraine, Novoye Vremya, Censor.Net, Channel 5, The Ukrainian Week, Opinion, a number of regional media, NGOs Independent Media Council, Detector Media, Mass Information Institute, Internews Ukraine, Center for Democracy and Rule of Law, Souspilnist Foundation, the Independent Association of Broadcasters, the Donetsk Institute of Information, the Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy, the Zmina Human Rights Center and other organizations, individual journalists - over 70 participants in total.
You can join or support the Media Movement by contacting its Coordinator Vadym Myskiy: email@example.com.