Ukraine: Ban of Independent Russian TV Undermines Media Freedom

Washington

Following a ban by Ukrainian authorities of the independent Russian online and TV channel Dozhd, Freedom House released the following statement:

“The government ban of broadcasts by Dozhd is censorship that restricts Ukrainians’ access to a choice of viewpoints,” said Robert Herman, vice president for international programs at Freedom House. “With Russian forces occupying part of Ukraine, it is vital that Ukrainians have access to independent coverage of events in Russia and to one of the few remaining independent Russian media outlets.”

Background:

Ukraine’s National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting (NRCT) issued a decision banning Ukrainian distributors from broadcasting TV Dozhd in Ukraine, asserting that the channel did not recognize Ukraine’s borders. Dozhd, one of Russia’s few remaining independent TV stations, has repeatedly been criticized by Russian authorities for its coverage of Russian combatants in eastern Ukraine, and political protests in Russia. Ukraine's NRCT has banned approximately 35 Russian broadcasters for infringing on national security or other grounds, enforcing other restrictions on Russian media content. 

Ukraine is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2016, Partly Free in Freedom of the Press 2016, Partly Free in Freedom on the Net 2016, and receives a democracy score of 4.68, on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 as the worst possible score, in Nations in Transit 2016

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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