The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NAU) has asked the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Arlem Desiré, to review the “revised” draft law ‘On media’ for compliance with Ukraine’s OSCE commitments on the protection of freedom of expression.

As you know, the Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy recommended that the Verkhovna Rada support the bill, which in the opinion of the National Union of Journalists and many journalists and the media contains threats to curtail freedom of speech in Ukraine.

In particular, the draft proposes strengthening the role of the National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting, making it the state regulator of online and print media, despite the constant criticism of the work of the National Council as a regulator of television and radio, which is accused of political involvement.

The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine notes that a thorough legal analysis of the first version of the law ‘On Media’, which was presented by the Office of the OSCE Representative in March, promotes freedom of speech in Ukraine. At the same time, the appeal emphasizes that the “revised” bill still contains provisions that are criticized by many Ukrainian journalists and the media.

“Adherence to the OSCE’s authoritative standards on freedom of speech will help Ukraine avoid mistakes and make legislation that will balance and protect freedom of speech and the guaranteed interests of citizens,” said Serhiy Tomilenko, chairman of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine. “So far, the current Media draft law is about sanctions and control, not about protecting the media or journalists.”

The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine also invited experts from the office of Arlem Desiré to take part in discussions on the implementation of the draft law “On Media,” which will be initiated by the Union.

Natalia Tolub

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