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Ukraine’s NewsOne TV complains of pressure on media to international organizations

Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office brought charges of high treason and financing terrorism against the channel

KIEV, July 12. /TASS/. Ukraine’s NewsOne TV channel complained to international organizations about pressure on behalf of the Ukrainian government and radicals, the channel’s employees said in a statement on Thursday.

"Accusations are still being voiced publicly by government agencies and a number of political forces. This is nothing but direct pressure on journalists and the entire creative team of the channel," the Russian-language version of the statement says.

"Not a single criminal case, launched into beatings of NewsOne journalists, has been completed. No one was held responsible for physical violence against our staff," the document says. "Realizing their impunity, making use of aiding and abetting by so-called law-enforcement bodies, right-wing radicals are becoming ruder and ruder, and their deeds targeting independent media and journalists are getting more and more aggressive."

The letter was sent to numerous rights organizations and international officials, including European Council President Donald Tusk, head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine Fiona Frazer, President of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) Liliane Maury Pasquier and others.

In their request, the NewsOne team demands the Ukrainian government to observe the laws and immediately stop bullying and pressure.

Earlier in the day, a NewsOne employee handed over a request to stop pressure on the media to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.

"Our journalist has just handed over a collective letter with signatories of our employees about a powerful pressure that NewsOne is facing," a news anchor commented on the handover, which was broadcast live and took place near Zelensky’s joint news conference with Moldovan Prime Minister Maia Sandu in Kiev.

On Sunday, Russian TV host Dmitry Kiselyov announced during his Vesti Nedeli (News of the Week) program on the Rossiya-1 TV channel that a TV link-up between Kiev and Moscow titled "We Need to Talk" would be held on July 12 between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. The program was supposed to be hosted jointly with Ukraine’s NewsOne TV channel, which is part of a media group owned by Chairman of the Political Council of Ukraine’s Opposition Platform - For Life party Viktor Medvedchuk.

Some Ukrainian parties strongly dismissed the TV link-up idea. On Monday, NewsOne cancelled the event citing threats of physical violence against its employees as a reason. Despite the cancellation, the National Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting ordered an unscheduled inspection of the channel’s work, while the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office has launched a criminal case against it on charges of high treason and financing terrorism.

Commenting on the Kiev-Moscow TV link-up idea, Zelensky said he would not let people with pro-Russian views monopolize the television.