Defend Freedom of Speech!
The First December Initiative whose members include a number of public figures with great moral authority in Ukraine, have spoken out over the situation with the TV channel TVi. They express their “deep concern over a sharp reduction in freedom of speech in Ukraine and the unprecedented pressure on the TV channel TVi.
Freedom of speech in Ukraine has over the last two years been noticeably diminishing. The deliberate policy of muffling information which the present regime bears responsibility for has led to the word becoming programmed, convoyed and intimidated. The media is not fulfilling its main mission which is to be the watchdog, arousing people and revealing lies. In such conditions it is particularly important to defend independent sources of information.
When there is no freedom of speech citizens become totally defenceless since publicity is the only effective means of knowing and thus having the opportunity to change a situation. At present we are seeking that the direction in which our society is developing needs fundamental change, a different system of values. The country needs honest, professional and productive discussion on vitally important issues where the right to be heard is guaranteed all. This discussion is impossible without freedom of speech and free access to information.
By defending freedom of speech and free media sources, among them the TV channel TVi, we will ensure the chance for Ukraine’s democratic development.
We call on the members of the National TV and Radio Broadcasting Council: B. Makzhosov; Y. Baranov; O. Kaletnyk; I. Opilat, O. Holovatenko; L. Mudrak; M. Fartusny to realize their own personal public responsibility and to fully reinstate broadcasting of TVi.
If we genuinely wish to live as free people in a free country, we must do this together.
Cardinal Lyubomir Huzar