Last Updated: Friday, 28 November 2014, 10:33 GMT

Ukraine: Is censorship coming back? New attacks on media freedom

Publisher Article 19
Publication Date 17 October 2011
Cite as Article 19, Ukraine: Is censorship coming back? New attacks on media freedom, 17 October 2011, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4ea7ddb52.html [accessed 28 November 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The recent Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Human Dimension Implementation Meeting provided an opportunity for ARTICLE 19, International Media Support (IMS) and Media Law Institute (MLI) to highlight the ongoing challenges to freedom of expression and equality in Ukraine, as well as the need for media reform in the country.

The annual OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, the largest Human Rights conference in Europe, brings together hundreds of government representatives, experts and human rights defenders to review progress made by OSCE participating states in implementing their commitments in the field of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

During this year's gathering, ARTICLE 19, IMS and MLI raised a new series of challenges facing the media in Ukraine at a side event to the conference. Media freedom in Ukraine is under threat with renewed legal and physical attacks on the media. Ownership of media outlets lacks transparency and activists fear a further decline in media freedom.

Certain successes such as the passing of the Access to Public Information Act in January 2011 are tempered by the large number of failed media reforms and negative developments in other areas such as broadcasting. In particular, the upcoming digitisation process risks forcing independent broadcasters off the airwaves for good and risking monopolisation of the broadcast market by a small number of media.

Ukrainian media have also been under attack abroad with the Kyiv Post newspaper being taken – unsuccessfully – to court in London for libel for a second time in 2010.

Speakers at the ARTICLE 19 and IMS event included Taras Shevchenko, Director of the Media Law Institute, Ukraine; Svitlana Zalishchuk, activist for the Stop Censorship and New Citizen Campaigns; Ekaterina Myasnikova of the Independent Association of Broadcasters and Chris Burnett, Senior Programme Officer for Europe at ARTICLE 19.

The event was held as part of a joint IMS and ARTICLE 19 project supporting media development in Ukraine. The side-event was organised in the framework of the IMS Media and Democracy Programme for Central, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus.

Copyright notice: Copyright ARTICLE 19

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