December 11, 2017 – FRN –
The American NGO “Human Rights First” has criticized restrictions on freedom of speech in Ukraine in its recent report “Democracy in Danger: Ukraine at the Crossroads on the Fourth Anniversary of Euromaidan.”
“The media in Ukraine are largely controlled by influential people who use these platforms to promote the interests of their political and business partners.”
At the same time, the Ukrainian government silences critics, those who doubt the commitment of the country of democracy.
In May 2017, President Poroshenko signed a law on the imposition of sanctions against 468 companies. The law blocked popular social networks and e-mail service, obliging Ukrainian Internet providers to restrict access to their sites.
Recently, restrictions on the work of journalists have also increased.
Since May, Kiev’s attacks on the media has intensified, banning two Spanish journalists for their negative coverage of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Also in May, the Kherson District Court sentenced Eduard Kovalenko to five years in prison for expressing opposition to military mobilization during a public meeting in 2014. The following month, another court annulled the previous acquittal of journalist and blogger Ruslan Kotsaba who was accused of high treason for an online video.
In August 2017, the SBU went on to arrest a blogger and journalist Vasily Muravitsky, accusing him of “preparing and disseminating anti-Ukrainian materials on behalf of Russian leaders.” These charges, which include treason, the sentence can be 15 years of imprisonment,” the report says.