Interfax-Ukraine

News about recent political developments in Ukraine, key Ukrainian economic news and major current events in the CIS and the rest of the world.

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Herman: It is understandable that every govt is afraid of free media.

KYIV. Oct 22 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Head of the Supervisory Board of the Charitable Foundation for the Defense of Freedom of Expression Hanna Herman considers it normal that the authorities are afraid of a free press.

"Every government is afraid of a free press, and this is understandable, this is almost normal. The government should be afraid. But only the criminal government closes the channels, only the criminal government beats journalists, only the criminal government commands journalists: what guests they should invite to the broadcasts of TV programs, what subjects they should broach, and which not," she said at the press center of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency at a press conference on Friday.

She also noted that for six months of work, the Foundation for the Defense of Freedom of Expression has recorded that the situation with freedom of speech in Ukraine is deteriorating.

As reported, on October 20, journalist, host of the Zvorotny Vidlik (Countdown) talk show on the UA: Pershy public television channel Myroslava Barchuk, accused the President's Office of exerting political pressure on the journalists of the show's editorial board. According to her statement on the Facebook page, this pressure is carried out in the form of control by the President's Office over the presence of MPs from the Servant of the People on the air of the program, as well as in putting forward ultimatums regarding their participation.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky called Barchuk's accusations of controlling the presence of MPs from the Servant of the People faction on the air by the President's Office a "hype".

On February 2, 2021, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky put into effect the NSDC decision, which actually blocked the activities of three TV channels - 112 Ukraine, Newsone and ZIK, which are associated with Viktor Medvedchuk.

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