UN human rights chief slams Ukraine over extrajudicial media crackdown after common outlet taken offline over undisclosed fees

The United Nations’ human rights mission in Ukraine has voiced severe considerations over a choice by prime safety officers in Kiev to unilaterally prohibit entry to various media retailers deemed crucial of the federal government.

Speaking to journalists at a briefing on Thursday, the top of the staff monitoring civil liberties within the Eastern European nation, Matilda Bogner, stated that the move to shutter a sequence of broadcasters and block entry to common information website Strana, in addition to various Russian publications, is a trigger for concern.

Earlier this 12 months, “the National Council for Security and Defense decided, with the endorsement of the president, to apply sanctions which resulted in the closure of the television channels 112 Ukraine, ZIK and News One,” she stated.

“On August 20, the National Council for Security and Defense issued another decision imposing further sanctions which have led to restrictions on access to online media outlets,” she added. The move noticed Strana’s web site blocked by web suppliers, with officers declining to provide any info on the rationale, and saying solely that its editors “are engaged in illegal activities on the territory of our country.”

Also on rt.com Ukraine shuts down main unbiased information website Strana as a part of new crackdown on journalists, judges & opposition politicians

Bogner stated that UN representatives are “concerned that these decisions are not in line with international standards on the right to freedom of expression as they were not taken by an independent authority, and they failed to demonstrate the necessity and proportionality of these restrictions.” She added that the UN “will continue to follow the situation.”

The concentrating on of Russian-language media retailers, together with Strana, has drawn criticism from various rights teams, together with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which spoke out towards the move final month.

OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Teresa Ribeiro stated that “while Ukraine has a legitimate right to protect its national security, the authorities should find a balanced and proportional solution in addressing media-related concerns, a solution that preserves media pluralism, free flow of information, and diversity of opinions in line with relevant international standards,” she stated.

“Media freedom is dependent on a healthy, vibrant and competitive landscape, which includes voices that provide a variety of news,” Ribeiro added. “Any sanctions on media should be subject to careful scrutiny, accompanied by effective procedural safeguards to prevent undue interference.”

Also on rt.com Ukraine condemned for crackdown on media freedom by OSCE after main information organisation ‘Strana’ banned by Zelensky authorities

However, Mikhail Podolyak, an adviser to the presidential administration, has denied that the efforts are a worrying signal at no cost speech in Ukraine, saying that “it’s just about effectively countering fakes and foreign propaganda.” Without motion, he argued, the opposition media would “kill our values.”

Bogner additionally criticized the actions of Russian officers in neighboring Crimea, accusing Moscow of looking for to restrict the liberty of peaceable meeting for political activists, together with members of the peninsula’s ethnic Tatar neighborhood.

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