OSCE Representative calls on authorities in Ukraine to refrain from restrictive laws limiting free media and free flow of information (22. April 2016)
VIENNA, 22 April 2016—OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today said that recent legislative steps in Ukraine could limit the free flow of information.
On 20 April, President Petro Poroshenko signed amendments to the law on cinema, which tighten restrictions on the distribution and broadcast of certain audio-visual materials allowing a blanket ban of all Russian films produced or released since the beginning of 2014.
In 2015, Mijatović said that such laws could restrict media freedom (see the Representative’s report to the OSCE Permanent Council available at <www.osce.org/pc/165276>).
“Even under the state of hostilities democratic countries have a responsibility to carefully address the potentially problematic content, for example through the use of appropriate judicial mechanisms, in order to avoid overbroad steps and introduction of censorship-like provisions,” Mijatović said.
“Ukraine’s current significant progress in the area of media freedom should be preserved and enhanced, not undermined.”
Obstruction of journalists’ work in Ukraine worrying, OSCE representative says (26. April 2016)
VIENNA, 26 April 2016—OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today expressed concern about the obstruction of the work of Savik Shuster, journalist, producer and host of the “Shuster Live” television show in Ukraine.
According to reports, the Kyiv City Employment Centre yesterday annulled Shuster’s work permit. The annulment was made after Shuster allegedly did not inform the authorities about the existence of a criminal record. Shuster, a Canadian citizen, denies the existence of such a record and considers the development as pressure on his professional activity.
“The circumstances of this case raise a number of concerns and questions,” Mijatović said. “I urge the Ukrainian authorities to swiftly look into this matter, making sure that the journalist’s rights are safeguarded and that Shuster is allowed to continue performing his work in a free and safe manner.”
Since 2015 Shuster’s production company “Savik Shuster Studio” has reportedly been subject to tax inspections and a criminal investigation.