The opening of criminal cases against independent Ukrainian media before parliamentary elections indicates that the government has finally overstepped the limit between democracy and totalitarianism, the council of the Batkivschyna united opposition has reported.
"The events of recent days – the opening of criminal cases against the editor-in-chief of the independent television channel TVi and the against editorial staff of the LB.ua site – already show there is no doubt that Yanukovych has ordered the destruction of those who have the courage to tell the truth about his criminal regime," the council of the opposition said in a statement posted on the Web site of the Batkivschyna Party on Wednesday.
The opposition described the prosecution of journalists in Ukraine as a signal for all independent media, political experts and leaders who "should clearly realize that now everyone, who wants freedom in this country and professes the principles of democracy and freedom of speech, could be subject to criminal prosecution, for any frivolous reason."
"We urge the leaders of the European Parliament, the European Commission, all public figures in the world and diplomatic agencies to make a firm and principled assessment of open aggression by the Ukrainian authorities with respect to independent media in Ukraine," reads the statement.
As reported, the prosecutor;s office in the Pechersk district of Kyiv has opened a criminal case against the LB.ua online news site for the violation of secrecy of correspondence by Regions Party MP Volodymyr Landik.
In addition, a criminal case was earlier opened against the TVi channel following checks on the channel’s work, which were conducted in April 2012.