Authorities in Crimea should allow Ukrainian outlets to broadcast freely

New York, March 24, 2015–The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities in Crimea to allow television and radio outlets based in Ukraine to broadcast in the region, following a statement made by Sergey Aksyonov, the Russia-appointed prime minister in Crimea, indicating that Ukrainian broadcasters that have been taken off the air will not be permitted to resume.

“In today’s statement, Sergey Aksyonov reinforced our deepest concerns: that the media climate in Crimea is worsening day by day,” said Muzaffar Suleymanov, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia research associate. “We urge Crimean authorities to reverse these repressive policies and recognize local residents’ right to a wide array of news and information.”

Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014, Ukraine-based stations in the region have been raided and shut down, according to CPJ research. In March 2014, authorities in the regional capital of Simferopol stopped transmitting the signals of two independent Ukrainian TV stations, Channel 5 and Channel 1+1, on the orders of Aksyonov. A few days before, Crimea’s State Television and Radio Transmitting Center forced the independent popular broadcaster Chernomorskaya Teleradiokompaniya off the air.