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Ukrainian court bans Russian TV broadcast

March 26 2014, 10:23

The majority of Ukrainian providers have stopped broadcasting four main Russian TV channels in a move the Russian Foreign Ministry calls a violation of international obligations and an attack on media freedom, reports.

“It certainly can be considered only in terms of the an attack on democratic freedoms, and a violation of international obligations by Ukraine,” the ministry's commissioner on human rights Konstantin Dolgov told RIA Novosti.

Dolgov says that Kiev's court decision to ban Russian TV content violates “every right to watch television and have access to media in Russian.”

The commissioner said that although authorities in Kiev came to power in an “anti-constitutional coup”they had promised and “declared commitment to basic human rights and freedoms, democratic principles.”

“Of course, this decision in no way fits with such a declaration,” said Dolgov, questioning Kiev's commitment to other fundamental rights and freedoms as well.

On Tuesday, Kiev District Administrative Court ruled to suspend the broadcasting of four Russian channels in Ukraine for the duration of the legal proceedings. The lawsuit is expected to be considered later this week.

The Ukrainian media watchdog claims that Russian information content is “threatening Ukraine’s national security, sovereignty and territorial integrity, promoting war, violence, cruelty, spreading interethnic and racial hostility, encouraging religious strife, encroaching on human rights and freedoms.”

As of now, 443 out of 703 Ukrainian content providers licensed by the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council of Ukraine have abided by the unofficial “recommendation” of the media watchdog and halted the transmission of Russian Channel 1, NTV-World, RTR-Planeta and Russia-24.

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