The Opposition Platform — For Life party demanded that the authorities ensure the safety of journalists, protect them from attacks by radicals and police arbitrariness, as well as open criminal proceedings against law enforcement officers and radicals who attacked journalists.
The statement was published on the website of the political force after the incident during the trial of Sternenko, when the journalists were attacked by radicals, and the police forcefully pushed the media representatives out from under the courthouse.
Unbearable and threatening conditions have developed in Ukraine for freedom of speech and the activities of journalists. With the complete connivance of the authorities, radicals and so-called «political activists» freely attack, beat and humiliate mass media workers, and prevent them from performing their professional duties. Now the police have begun to openly use force against journalists while performing their professional duties.
The radicals revel in their impunity, knowing that the government will not even make an attempt to protect journalists and punish those who commit crimes. That is why during the hearings in the case of the leader of the national radicals Sergei Sternenko, accused of murdering a man, his supporters, without examining the methods, attacked the media workers. There were attacks on representatives of the leading news television channels in Ukraine, which were «prohibited» from broadcasting by the radicals. They attacked and threatened journalists representing the country’s popular online media. But instead of stopping the lawlessness and the radicals’ Sabbath, the police themselves began to use force against journalists. Police officers simply pushed the journalists out of the premises of the Shevchenkovsky District Court of Kiev.
The main reason for the impunity of the radicals and the police lawlessness against journalists is that today the authorities themselves are the ordering party for the destruction of freedom of speech. While some beat journalists in the streets, others in the quiet of their offices come up with new laws and regulations in order to introduce censorship, limit freedom of speech and media activities.
THE OPPOSITION PLATFORM FOR LIFE demands to stop the campaign to intimidate independent journalists and curtail freedom of speech in Ukraine.
We demand to strictly suppress the use of force by radicals, to bring to justice all criminals who have attacked journalists.
We also demand from the State Bureau of Investigation to open criminal proceedings on the fact of the police attack on media representatives committed by its employees on June 15, 2020 under the building of the Shevchenko District Court of Kiev. Once again, we call on the authorities to abandon plans to limit the activities of the media, introduce censorship and expand the administrative powers of officials. Stop fighting free speech and stifling criticism. Restore the rule of law in Ukraine, ensure peace in the country, bring the economy out of the crisis, and if you cannot — resign!