TVi : Appeal to the President
In an open address published on Friday, Director of TVi, Mykola Kniazhytsky asked President Viktor Yanukovych for a meeting to discuss court hearings on the withdrawal of frequencies and the annulment of broadcasting licenses. These, as reported here, have been brought by companies of the Inter Media Group owned by Valery Khoroshkovsky, Head of the SBU [Security Service].
The letter stresses that it is unheard of anywhere for the Security Service to be headed by a media magnative, and that in no country in the twenty first century does the security service “fight with bloggers and students, recruit rectors and engage in propaganda”.
"The international community regarded the withdrawal of frequencies from the two independent TV channels as blatant pressure on freedom of speech. We ask you to meet us, if you are the Guarantor of both the Constitution and freedom of speech, as you have said on numerous occasions. The whole country could see how you instructed Valeriy Khoroshkovsky [Head of the Security Service, SBU with tackling journalists complaints. After such an order, Khoroshkovsky should have resigned at once. All free-thinking people in our country and whole if Europe regard him as a symbol of limitation of freedom of speech and of a conflict of interests,".
The letter also states that the Administrative Court of Appeal in Kyiv will be considering the withdrawal of licenses from TVi in accordance with a suit brought by Valeriy Khoroshkovskys company" on 16 August . "We found out absolutely by chance that the court will hear our case on Monday, August 16. A ruling of this hearing will enter into force immediately. If it is issued under pressure from Khoroshkovsky, which, unfortunately, we have no doubt that it will be, we will have to switch off more than a dozen transmitters all over the state, and the rights of many talented journalists, well-known not just in our country, will be violated, and they could lose their jobs. Huge foreign investments have been put into our TV channel, and the illegal cancellation of TVis license will entail international court action," Kniazhytsky says.
Channel 5 and TVi stated yesterday that they are concerned that pressure may be put on Kyiv Administrative Court of Appeal and Court Chairman Anatoliy Denysov to examine the case quickly and make a "one-sided" ruling on the case of the withdrawal of frequencies.
Channel 5 and TVi say that they have received no notification about the time and place of the hearing, and ask that the Chair of the court returns the file to a first instance court.
The letter in full is at http://www.tvi.ua/