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TVi says authorities continue pressing on channel

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Aug. 21, 2012, 11:51 a.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

On July 19, journalists and activists protested in front of the General Prosecutor’s Office in Kyiv, demanding the cases against TVi and LB.ua website be dropped and that the government stop pressure on independent media.
© Sohei Yasui

Ukraine's TVi Channel has said that the pressure on the channel by the authorities continues. 

"The Tax Service continues impeding our work. More and more regional providers have been disconnecting TVi Channel from their networks due to censorship by the authorities," the Channel said in a statement on its official Web site on Monday.

TVi leadership stressed that in case of continued pressure, the channel reserves the right to appeal to the world journalist community asking them to boycott the 64th World Newspaper Congress and the 19th World Editors Forum, which will be held in Kyiv on September 2-5.

In addition, the channel sent a letter to the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council of Ukraine concerning unlawful disconnection of the channel by some cable TV operators.

Ukraine's TVi Channel claimed on August 14 that the exclusion of the channel by cable operators in Donetsk and Mariupol from their networks on August 13, 2012 was due to direct instructions from the regional representatives of the National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting.

On July 20, 2012, TVi Channel said that it had been disconnected from the cable networks of the Triolan trademark and that residents of 11 towns in Ukraine had been deprived of a chance to watch the channel. TVi linked this "with the pressure being placed on the channel."

On July 12, 2012, reports said that a criminal case had been opened against TVi Director Kniazhytsky. The tax police accused him of failing to pay UAH 3 million in taxes to the budget. Kniazhytsky said that he had already won all trials on this case and that he had paid all taxes. The tax police started checking the channel's documents, although Head of the State Tax Service Oleksandr Klymenko signed an order in April 2012 declaring on a moratorium on media checks before parliamentary elections.

On July 27 the prosecutor's office cancelled an instruction on the opening of the criminal case against Kniazhytsky. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and Prosecutor General of Ukraine Viktor Pshonka ordered to check whether the criminal case was opened legally.

Kniazhytsky is eleventh in the party ticket of the united opposition. 

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AL BALA Aug. 21, 2012, 2:32 p.m.    

the exclusion of the channel by cable operators in Donetsk and Mariupol from their networks on August 13, 2012 was due to direct instructions from the regional representatives of the National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting.

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Roman Dawydiak Aug. 22, 2012, 8:31 a.m.    

This is another excellent example of the Party of Regions using a third party to do the dirty work for them. It matters little if the tax police are involved, or the SBU, or the PGO, or the courts, etcetera, etcetera. The orders come from the POR and they get their orders or approval from Yanukovych. This is what the Government meant by conducting clean elections. They could not be directly fingered as being the culprits. What they do not seem to realize is that many in the general public know exactly what they are up to. Eventually this will come to haunt them.

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