Yuliya Lovochkina Informed PACE on the Situation with Freedom of Speech in Ukraine
The situation with freedom of speech in Ukraine raises serious concerns for many reasons. Interference with journalists’ work and attacks against them constitute a violation of human rights and contribute to the administration’s reckless policy. This was stated by member of the Ukrainian delegation in PACE, OPPOSITION PLATFORM – FOR LIFE MP Yuliya Lovochkina during debates on “Media freedom, public trust and the people’s right to know” which took place at the plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
“2021 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders, has classified Ukraine as problematic, ranking it to be 97th out of 180 states. The research shows that news manipulation, violations of the confidentiality of sources, cyber-attacks and excesses in the fight against fake news are cause for concern,” Ms. Lovochkina said.
The MP also drew attention of the Assembly to the unprecedented situation for Ukraine — the unlawful sanctions against three Ukrainian TV channels, namely 112 Ukraine, NewsOne, and ZiK, introduced in February 2021. Ms Lovochkina stressed that according to the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, this decision is contrary to international human rights standards, lacks justification of its necessity and proportionality, and was not taken by an independent authority under current legislation.
Ms. Lovochkina concluded that suppressing the freedom of speech in all forms and with all methods is a violation of basic human rights and does not contribute to inclusive and open society where media environment ensures the pluralism of opinions.
As reported, June PACE session was held in hybrid format from 21-24, 2021 in Strasburg. More than 200 delegates attended the Session in Strasbourg, while the rest of delegates take part online. The Assembly agenda mostly focuses on issues related to COVID-19 impact and includes the issues of migrants’ rights, freedom of speech as well as nondiscrimination focus.