In Warsaw the HDIM 2018 conference continues (it ends on September 21st). Freedom of media was the topic of discussion on September 11th. Delegates of OSCE countries were also addressed by representatives of the Ukrainian human rights platform "Uspishna Varta". In their speech they paid attention to the fact that the Ukrainian authorities, under the cover of legislation on combating separatism and terrorism, suppress and persecute oppositional journalists, politicians, and independent media.

"We support the release of all political prisoners in Ukraine, including those who languish in prisons on the territory of the country. Why does nobody speak about the journalist Pavel Volkov, who is accused of assisting terrorists? About Vasily Muravitsky, who was arrested directly in the maternity hospital where his wife had just given birth to his son. Those Ukrainians who pay attention to real problems automatically receive the label of 'agents of the Kremlin'. I ask the OSCE to pay attention to this situation," stated the head of the board of "Uspishna Varta" Natalya Natalina.

In addition to Natalina, a position that is inconvenient for the Ukrainian authorities was also sounded by the head of the "Vesti" media holding Olga Semchenko, the editor-in-chief of the website "" Olga Shariy, the head of the "Respublika" Institute Vladimir Chemeris, the journalists Dmitry Vasilets and Ruslan Kotsaba, the lawyers Valentin Rybin and Elena Leshchenko, and the coordinator of "Uspishna Varta" in Lvov Galina Chaika, who at the highest level spoke about threats posed to freedom of speech and media at the state level and about pressure being put on independent media, journalists, and bloggers by the authorities, law enforcement bodies, and right-wing radical organisations. This was declared during the side event on the topic "The right to freedom of speech and opinion in Ukraine: threats and opportunities", which was organised by the human rights platform "Uspishna Varta".

The sounded information provoked a sharp reaction from some representatives of civil society of Ukraine. At first Oksana Romanyuk, the head of Institute of Mass Information, stated that "Uspishna Varta" was being instructed nearly directly from the Kremlin. Further, representatives of the Ukrainian authorities declared the need to close "Vesti", "", channel "112", and the "NewsOne" channel.

"And it doesn't disturb you why they exist in general in Ukraine, why they aren't imprisoned under articles 110-111, why the Russian info-saboteur nest hasn't been eliminated - 'Vesti', 'Strana', '112', 'NewsOne', no?.... Yes, revenge is already happening, and it will win if 'Vesti', 'Strana', and others aren't destroyed", - stated the adviser of the Ministry of Information Policy in Ukraine Roland Mikiani on his Facebook page.

And the people's deputy from the ruling coalition Vladimir Aryev noted on Facebook: "I am for freedom of speech and the press, but am categorically against freedom of propaganda. Ukraine has a situation that distinctly differs from Germany, France, and Great Britain. The latter two, by the way, already apply certain actions against propagandists and distributors of fake news. That's why hybrid threats demand adequate answers: media agencies that cooperate in any way with an aggressor must be significantly limited".

As a reminder, the head of the board of the human rights platform "Uspishna Varta" Natalya Natalina in her speech during the second working meeting of the 2018 OSCE Meeting on the consideration of the implementation of obligations in the human dimension of the within the framework of the 2018 "Human Dimension Implementation Meeting" conference in Warsaw appealed to the OSCE with the recommendation to urge the government and law enforcement bodies of Ukraine to release all political prisoners, including the ones sat in Ukrainian prisons.

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