Open Appeal to Leadership of OSCE About Freedom of Speech in Ukraine October 13, 2016 Analysis Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard 01:22:43 13/10/2016 Alexandr Potemkin The Director of the OSCE Office for democratic institutions and human rights (OSCE / ODIHR) Michael Georg Link The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein The OSCE representative on freedom of the media Dunja Mijatović APPEAL In 1991, Ukraine gained independence and took the European vector of development based on democracy and freedom of speech. Various declarations were ratified about the media in a democratic society. Freedom of expression is guaranteed by article 34 of the Constitution of Ukraine and article 15 prohibits censorship in the media. In 2014, Ukraine took the course towards European Integration, and freedom of the media is a cornerstone of European values. In 2 years the situation with freedom of speech significantly deteriorated in Ukraine, more than 26 journalists were killed, many journalists are under investigation. Journalist Kotsaba was under investigation illegally for more than a year, and was recognized by the international organization Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience. The central channel of the country INTER come under huge pressure with the arson of a building, blockage of the TV channel and so on. The largest free newspaper VESTI constantly comes under attack. All of this happens with the connivance or even the tacit consent of the authorities. The journalist of channel 17, Dmitry Vasilets, has been under investigation for almost a year, while only his statements on social networks serve as proof of his guiltiness. We ask you to convey to the Ukrainian leadership the importance of European values in the field of media freedom, preventing pressure on independent media in any way, whether it’s an attack by the radicals on the media, or the prosecution of dissidents. In addition, we would like to ask you to intervene in the fate of the journalist Dmitry Vasilets and other journalists under investigation. Copyright © 2016. All Rights Reserved.