Media: UN official finds no freedom of speech in Ukraine

23.12.2017, USA.

Kiev’s bans of television channels broadcasting in Russian violate the international human rights law on access to information, the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye said in an interview on December 22, RIA Novosti reports.

In particular, Kaye said that, generally speaking, this is of course a deprivation of freedom, because in terms of human rights law every person has the right to access any kind of ideas and information, either true or not.

Giving an assessment to the situation with freedom of speech in Ukraine, he added that he was not familiar with the situation in Ukraine well enough to give a specific opinion; but generally, the authorities should not choose the path of banning or restricting media operations.

Since 2014, over 70 Russian channels and about 600 Russian-made films and TV series were banned in Ukraine.

In October 2017, the Verkhovnaya Rada of Ukraine (Ukrainian Parliament) passed a law that raised the quota of the Ukrainian language on TV. According to the law, at least 75% of TV broadcasting must be in Ukrainian.

Editorial comment

It is nice to see that international officials suddenly, three years after Nazi practices reminiscent of the Third Reich appeared in the Ukrainian political life, begin to notice them.

These old fascist practices have become so conspicuous and blatant that they apparently just cannot go unnoticed.

However, one should not have any illusions. The Rapporteur’s statement is unlikely to make any difference in the West’s attitude towards the official Kiev. The Western elite needs Ukraine as a powerful irritant against the Russian Federation. Most often, statements like Kaye’s are addressed to the Ukrainian elite, and they bear quite a clear message, “If you try to go out of our control, remember that we know everything about you, and we can use what we know.”

Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency

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