Ukraine’s sanctions against Russian media
Ukrainian authorities have approved sanctions against leading Russian media executives and journalists. This is fresh evidence of Kiev’s policy of disregard for international standards on human rights and freedom of speech, which it has pursued since the 2014 political coup. Politically biased decisions to introduce or lift sanctions against foreign journalists, members of the creative community and public figures are evidence of Kiev’s pained reaction to alternative views.
Unfortunately, Kiev does not seem to realise that being a European country is not an issue of geography but primarily of commitment to democratic values, the most important of which is the right to have an opinion and to freely express it.
All of this is happening with the connivance or inertia of Kiev’s Western patrons, who try to hush up the real situation in Ukraine. We point to the use of double standards and bias by international human rights institutions, which did not always objectively react to the introduction of sanctions against Russian journalists but give priority attention to Western journalists. In other words, the Western establishment only reacted when Kiev took similar action against Western journalists. But it preferred to avert its eyes when such measures were taken against Russian journalists.
Therefore, we again urge the international community to take note of this.
I would like to say that Human Rights Watch has called on the Kiev authorities to immediately lift the restrictions levied against 17 Russian journalists.
We urge Kiev’s foreign sponsors and specialised international organisations such as the OSCE, UNESCO, the Council of Europe, UN bodies and their leaders who are responsible for matters concerning journalists’ freedom of speech to provide an objective assessment of Kiev’s actions.