A roundtable was held on March 27 to present a report by the Ukraine’s National Council on TV and Radio-broadcasting and the Ministry of Information Policy on violations and losses in the area of broadcasting in Crimea in aftermath of its occupation. In course of the event, UHHRU representatives also managed to spread Program’s concerns and developments on the issue of informational occupation.
Participants underlined that Kremlin media together with RF armed forces served as the state-supported machine for the occupation of peninsula. Independent Crimean journalists are subject to harassment and most of the local media outlets pushed out of Crimea. Freedom of speech is limited, and journalists are guided by strict occupation authorities’ instructions elaborated with the only purpose to serve Kremlin purposes (including, aggressive propaganda against Ukraine).
This report may form the basis for new sanctions lists on Russian so-called “media” and their management.
UHHRU lawyer Daria Svyrydova stated that more effective investigation should be made by Ukraine due with violations and losses in the area of broadcasting in Crimea in aftermath of its occupation. All the facts of this violations should be used as evidence base for further applications for the international courts, as well as names of all the responsible for such a violations should be included in new sanctions list. Also it was noted that Ukrainian government should pay more attention for supporting the local media outlets that were pushed out of Crimea.
Furthermore, panelists agreed to hold further discussions and draft recommendations on how to protect violated local residents’ rights of free access to information and obtaining reliable information from various sources (including access to the Ukrainian TV and radio broadcasting), as well as the illegal use by the aggressor country of the radio frequency resource of Ukraine in Crimea, etc.
In a month, the National Council will finalize the report taking into account the announced proposals (including those by the Program) and the recommended ways to protect Ukraine’s national interests in Crimean peninsula as certain Kremlin actions violates the Convention of the International Telecommunication Union and international human rights treaties. It will be thence presented to the general public and sent to the state institutions for its further application to defend State’s position at the international level.
UHHRU already made certain progress in collecting evidences related to information occupation. Summary findings can be read in “Crimea Beyond Rules” Analytical Law Digest devoted to information occupation, which is focusing on violations of freedom of speech and expression in Crimea (available in both Russian and English). It was already presented publicly, including to international community during side-event at the Autumn PACE session jointly with “Regional Center for Human Rights” NGO (link )