President dissolves National Commission on Freedom of Speech


President Yanukovych has dissolved the National Commission for the Affirmation of Freedom of Speech and Development of the Information Sphere under the President. The relevant decree is posted on the President’s website, although without a number.

The motivation part of the document refers to Article 106 § 1.28 of the Constitution which states that the President “creates, within the limits of the funds envisaged in the State Budget of Ukraine, consultative, advisory and other subsidiary bodies and services for the exercise of his or her authority”. 

There is effectively, thus, no reason given for the dissolution of the Commission.

The Commission was headed by Taras Petriv, and included a number of journalists, editors of major media outlets and civic organizations involved with media issues.  One of the members  – Natalya Ligacheva from Telekritika – published an article last week on the dangers to media freedom TV-managed democracy coming soon to nation.

Another Presidential decree posted yesterday announces the creation of a “Civic Humanitarian Council”.  The list of members includes the poet Ivan Drach, the actor Bohdan Stupka and a number of other people called “authoritative public figures”.  The criteria for the choice of members is not given, nor what this new consultative and advisory body is for.

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