World Association of News Publishers

Protest Campaign - Ukraine, 21 January 2015

Protest Campaign - Ukraine, 21 January 2015

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His Excellency President Petro Poroshenko
President of Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine

Fax: +38044-255-71-40

21 January 2015

Your Excellency,

We are writing on behalf of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum, which represent 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries, to express our serious concern at threats to revoke the licence of TV station Inter.

According to reports, on 1 January, Oleksandr Turchynov, Chairman of the National Security and Defense Council, called for the revocation of Inter’s broadcasting licence for broadcasting “unpatriotic” material. Inter is the country’s top-rated television station and is privately owned.

Mr Turchynov made his remarks after the appearance on a New Year’s Eve entertainment programme of several performers who have publicly endorsed Kremlin policies in the last year, including the annexation of Crimea. Inter’s main competitor, the government-aligned 1+1, aired the same New Year’s Eve programme but was not threatened with the loss of its licence. Inter has also, however, aired news and current affairs programmes that have contained criticism of some government policies.

We respectfully remind you that a plurality of views is a cornerstone of democracy and that simplified “patriotic” coverage with just one “correct” news angle is a denial of freedom of expression.

Revoking Inter’s broadcasting licence for airing “unpatriotic” material would be a clear breach of this right, which is guaranteed by numerous international conventions, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 19 of the Declaration states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media, regardless of frontiers.”

We respectfully call on you to do everything possible to ensure that Mr Turchynov retracts his threats against Inter and urge you to protect all independent information sources, so that your country may fully respect its international obligations to freedom of expression.

We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Yours sincerely,


Tomas Brunegård
World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers


Erik Bjerager
World Editors Forum


WAN-IFRA is the global organization for the world’s newspapers and news publishers, with formal representative status at the United Nations, UNESCO and the Council of Europe. The organization groups 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries.


Andrew Heslop's picture

Andrew Heslop


2015-01-21 17:22

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In countless countries, journalists, editors and publishers are physically attacked, imprisoned, censored, suspended or harassed for their work. WAN-IFRA is committed to defending freedom of expression by promoting a free and independent press around the world. Read more ...