Ukraine Should Change Proposed Censorship Law

Washington

Following the Ukrainian Rada’s (parliament) initial passage of a law giving the government broad new authority to censor domestic and international media that allegedly threaten “security and national interests” and to shut down telecommunications infrastructure, Freedom House released the following statement:

“The Rada’s proposed law gives the National Security and Defense Council draconian and inappropriate powers to shut down and restrict media and telecommunications networks based on vague criteria and with limited oversight, “ said David J. Kramer, president of Freedom House. “While Ukraine is targeted with an unprecedented barrage of inciteful and willfully misleading stories on the airwaves, the Internet, and in print, this bill does not strike the right balance between security and human rights. It could easily lead to abusive and impermissible restrictions on fundamental human rights.”

“Freedom House calls on the Rada to establish a strict legal framework that has the narrowest possible restrictions on the media and free expression and ensures effective judicial oversight,” Kramer said. “The Rada should also include Ukrainian civil society in this important debate on how to protect national interests and safeguard democracy.”

Ukraine is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2014, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2014, and Free in Freedom on the Net 2013.

To learn more about Ukraine, visit:
Ukraine Media Watch
Freedom in the World 2014: Ukraine
Nations in Transit 2014: Ukraine 
Freedom on the Net 2013: Ukraine
Freedom of the Press 2013: Ukraine

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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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.

Join us on Facebook and Twitter (freedomhousedc). Stay up to date with Freedom House’s latest news and events by signing up for our newsletter and our blog.