5 Sep 2019 22:24

Ukrainian National TV Council to file lawsuit to revoke NewsOne television's license

KYIV. Sept 5 (Interfax) - The Ukrainian National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council has accused the NewsOne TV channel of inciting ethic, racial, and religious strife, noting that it is going to file a lawsuit to deprive the TV channel of its license, the TV channel reported.

"To file a lawsuit with the court to revoke the broadcasting license of Novyny 24 Hodyny. I want to emphasize that the National Council in no way shuts down TV channels and seizes licenses. We go to the court so that it will approve this decision. As this is actually a very complicated issue," acting head of the Ukrainian National Council Olha Herasymiuk said at a meeting of the council on Thursday.

In particular, the regulator accused the TV channel of instigating animosity and hostility. "To find the inciting of ethnic, racial, or religious animosity or hostility in the statements, which were made live on the Novyny 24 Hodyny TV channel between June 6, 2019 and July 8, 2019," Herasymiuk said, while reading out the council's decision.

The TV channel's broadcasts were not halted, she added. "The TV channel is operating, no one loses his job and takes to the streets," Herasymiuk said.

The National Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting earlier said that it wants to file a lawsuit to annul NewsOne's license due to airing programs featuring the signs of inciting strife in the Ukrainian society. The council reported violations during NewsOne's unscheduled inspection in July 2019 in light of the TV channel's plans to hold a TV link-up with the Rossiya-1 TV channel.

The NewsOne TV channel (Novyny 24 Hodyny LLC, also known as News 24 Hours) views the National Council's decision as the encroachment on the freedom of speech, introducing censorship, and the new authorities' attempt to oust independent media outlets from the Ukrainian television and radio broadcasting space.

NewsOne emphasized that the National Council's decision is based on multiple violations of the law that have taken place before and during the inspection of the TV channel, the TV channel said in a statement on its website. "The National Council blatantly and cynically displayed the negligence of legal procedures and put a rude pressure on its employees in order to ruin the independent TV channel," NewsOne said in the statement.