TV Owners: Do not turn Journalists into Informers!
The Kyiv Independent Media Trade Union has called on the owners of television channels to not turn their journalists into informers and not provide the police with video material about the protests of Maidan Nezalezhnosti [Independence Square in Kyiv]. Ukrainian citizens came out onto Maidan (to protest against the new Tax Code) not in order to destabilize the situation in the country but in protest against the violation of their rights. The Tax Code which they were protesting against was done in a shoddy fashion and violated people’s constitutional rights. President Yanukovych recognized that by using his power of veto.
If the heads of TV channels heed the demands of the police, they will not simply infringe journalist ethics, but will become instruments of a repressive machine.
As reported, on Wednesday the TV news channel “24” reported that it had received a request from the Central Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs asking for all video material from the Tax Code Maidan (the mass protest against the draft Tax Code). This was apparently “in connection with criminal investigation No. 10-24539 over the crime set down in Article 194 § 1 of the Criminal Code on the basis of Article 66 of the Criminal Procedure Code”. This article covers deliberate destruction or damage or others’ property causing large scale losses