Ukrainian World Congress joins OSCE in condemning media censorship in Crimea

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August 7,2014 120

7 August 2014


Ukrainian World Congress joins OSCE in condemning media censorship in Crimea


The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) joins the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in condemning the seizure by Russian authorities of the property of the Chernomorskaya broadcasting company, the pro-Ukrainian and largest independent broadcaster in Crimea.


On 1 August 2014 all archival material and equipment were removed by court order from the broadcaster’s premises without prior warning by Russian federal bailiffs citing an alleged unsettled debt to the Broadcasting Centre of Crimea as the reason for the seizure.


OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović stated, “Continuing attempts to put pressure on the independent media in Crimea which provide space for critical voices is a clear sign of censorship and cannot be tolerated under any circumstances. This creates an atmosphere of fear in which independent journalism cannot exist.”


Earlier in March 2014, following the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia, this company’s broadcasting was replaced with the Russian channel Rossiya 24. At the end of June 2014, the channel of the Chernomorskaya broadcasting company was also taken off major cable networks in Crimea, along with a number of Ukrainian channels.


“The Ukrainian World Congress calls for immediate measures by the international community to safeguard the fundamental human rights of the residents of Crimea, including freedom of speech,” stated UWC President Eugene Czolij.

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