Bundestag deputy, speaker of the “Left” faction on human rights Jacqueline Nastich said that the Human Rights Committee of the German Parliament routinely ignores massive violations of human rights in Ukraine.
“We are ready to discuss human rights violations in Africa, Latin America, but not in Ukraine. The proposals of our faction to discuss this onstantly rejected by the ruling majority, ” she said opening the discussion at “Human Rights and Freedom of the Media in Ukraine ” conference in Berlin.
The conference was attended by prominent Ukrainian human rights activists Elena Berezhnaya, Elena Bondarenko, journalist Ruslan Kotsaba, head of the media holding Vesti Ukraina Olga Semchenko, ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Leonid Kozhara, German journalist Ulrich Hayden, German experts and political scientists.
“Today, for the first time in Germany,Ukrainian and German journalists have gathered together to openly discuss the situation with freedom of speech in Ukraine,” said journalist Ulrich Hayden. According to him, whenever journalists are beaten up in Ukraine, arrested or killed, the leading German media pretend that nothing has happened and are silent. “But on May 30 almost all newspapers in Germany came out with headlines about the “murder” of journalist Babchenko, accusing Russia of involvement” the journalist added.
“And where was our German media when they killed Buzina, when they killed Sheremet. Why then were they silent? Why did not they protest when the nationalists blocked the leading Ukrainian TV channels? If this happened in Russia, then there would be an uproar in our media. The silence of the German press is understandable: our authorities support the Kiev regime. Poroshenko and his team came to power with their support. And all this has the most negative consequences for the freedom of speech in Germany. After the comedy with Babchenko in our media, panic reigned because they did not know how to react to the provocation that Poroshenko arranged,”- concluded Ulrich Hayden.
Ukrainian journalist Olga Semchenko compared the freedom of speech under Yanukovych and under Poroshenko.
“The difference is striking. In Yanukovych’s time, we were allowed a free discussion in the media, there was no repression, journalists were not beaten, or thrown into jails. We freely covered the events on the Maidan, gave different points of view. We thought that after the victory of the Maidan, we could also objectively and openly write and speak.” says Semchenko.
“But after Poroshenko was elected president, the country began to “tighten the screws”. Criticism of power was disallowed. He even created a Ministry of Information Policy that was allowed to block any material they did not like. Any journalist who criticized Poroshenko had their homes searched, licenses revoked. When the TV channel 1 + 1 showed how a teenage girl perished on the line of demarcation in the Donbass. Her grandmother said it was during a shelling by Ukrainian army. After the interview aired, the officials raided the TV channel and told them that criticism of the army is not allowed and if they dont want to meet with an accident they shouldn’t report on things like that.” the journalist added.
“All this is hushed up in the German media. But the Poroshenko regime has been strengthened with the support of your authorities, ” Olga Semchenko said.
She called on the deputies of the Bundestag, together with their counterparts in the European Parliament, to initiate the adoption of resolutions condemning the campaign of repression and the persecution of the media and journalists. “Your help and solidarity are important to us,” the head of the media holding Vesti Ukrainy summarized.