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An appeal of the Black-Sea TV-radio company

On 19 July the Black-Sea TV-radio company (BSTRC) got an order from the Crimean administration that the former, since 26 July, must terminate broadcasting TV in 16 towns of the Crimea. The reason is that the radio and TV center of the Crimea, which retranslates the BSTRC, has no permission from the Ukrainian main office to use the corresponding frequencies. A.Dmitriev, the director of the radio and TV center of Crimea, informed BSTRC that this order would be obeyed.

The BSTRC has a license from the National Council of Ukraine in questions of TV and radio broadcasting to service the mentioned 16 towns, and during 8 years these towns have been serviced. Correspondingly, the BSTRC was developed. Nowadays the situation looks as follows: one state organization (the Ukrainian main office) punishes another state organization (the radio and TV center of Crimea) and, as a result, an independent company (BSTRC) suffers irreplenishable losses.

In this connection the labor collective of the BSTRC declares its intention to defend in court its

right for work, guaranteed by the license of the National Council of Ukraine in questions of TV and radio broadcasting.

In our opinion, the factual ouster of the largest independent TV organization of the Crimea from the informational space just before the election is not accidental. In all years of its activities BSTRC was and remains a really independent TV and radio company, which objectively describes events in the Crimea and in Ukraine, giving the opportunity to express themselves to all political forces, steadily defending rights and freedoms of TV viewers.

Last spring, before the Parliamentary election a similar attempt to close the BSTRC was already made, but wide public protests made the local authorities to stop suppressing the company. Today we are quite sure that the decision of the Ukrainian main office has another purpose than to order the use of channels, since their demands are directed only to few. For example, the state TV-radio company also has no licenses for the frequencies they use and, last but not least, local state officials have been lately actively negotiating with the BSTRC on behalf of top officials of Ukraine with the ultimatum to sell them the control packet of shares, thus enabling them to affect the BSTRC policy.

The collective of the BSTRC turns to international organizations, which protect journalists’ rights, to mass media and to all public and political organizations of Ukraine with the appeal to support them in protecting their rights for the freedom of speech and for the very existence of independent TV and radio companies. Democratic processes shall not be stopped in Ukraine!
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