Ukrainians defy court bans to defend TVi
Around 5 thousand people gathered in Kyiv on Saturday to show their support for the increasingly beleaguered independent TV channel TVi. There were similar rallies in Kharkiv and other cities.
The demonstrators held banners reading “TVi is the last bastion of freedom” and “Those in power are afraid of the truth”, “Bring back honest news” and “No censorship will save a regime of corruption”.
A banner was raised near the stage with TVi’s demands which include not only a stop to repressive measures against independent media sources and pressure on journalists, but the dismissal of the members of the National TV and Radio Broadcasting Council. It is the latter which TVi accuses of instigating the actions by cable providers which have led to TVi being cut off totally or moved to a much more expensive package. Huge numbers of people around the country now have no possibility of viewing this channel which is increasingly alone in carrying out hard-hitting investigations, including into corrupt dealings, and programmes in which the opposition’s point of view is heard.
Demonstrators were treated to appearances by the group Tartak who came to show their solidarity.
There were also a number of politicians, one from the Party of the Regions (Vasyl Horbal), there together with the TV political talk show presenter Savik Shuster.
There were other rallies in Zaporizhya, Luhansk, Chernihiv, as well as in Kharkiv and Zhytomyr, where people came out in defiance of court bans.
From a report at Radio Svoboda