Special committee calls to check reports of pressure on journalists

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May 13, 2010, 6:06 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine
The special parliamentary committee for freedom of speech and information has called on the General Prosecutor's Office to immediately investigate complaints by journalists of the TV channels 1+1 and STB of pressure on journalists and censorship. The committee adopted a relevant statement at a meeting on Wednesday.

According to the statement, the committee is concerned about reports of pressure and censorship at the Ukrainian national TV channels.

The committee sees signs of violation of Ukrainian legislation, in particular, the Constitution of Ukraine, the law on information, and the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

The committee called for the General Prosecutor's Office to urgently consider the statements made by journalists of the two TV channels regarding the observance of legislation, and if these statements are supported by evidence then to open criminal cases and carry out an investigation.

The parliament's committee also called for the Ukrainian president, the Verkhovna Rada, and the Cabinet of Ministers to take measure to protect the professional and civil rights of journalists.

The committee also called for the leadership of the TV channels 1+1 and STB to give an official response to the reports on pressure.

The committee for freedom of speech also urged the leadership of these channels not to persecute journalists who claim they are under pressure at TV channels.

The committee called on journalists, MPs, officials of executive branch of power and local government to inform the committee about any evidence of pressure, obstacles to journalists' works or censorship.

The committee also decided to draft amendments to the laws on information and other laws to specify such notions as "censorship" and "obstacles to the professional activity of journalists."
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