World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers


Protest Campaign - Russia, 18 December 2014

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Protest Campaign - Russia, 18 December 2014

Article ID:

18421

His Excellency President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin
The Kremlin, Moscow
Russian Federation

 

18 December 2014

 

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 the threatened closure of the Tomsk station TV-2.

According to reports, on November 30, TV-2 was notified by the local division of Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network (RTRS), the state monopoly that owns broadcasting facilities, that it would not be renewing TV-2’s contract when it expires at the end of December. If implemented, the decision will turn off the station’s signal on 1 January 2015, silencing yet another independent Russian media outlet.

In another line of attack, Roscomnadzor, the federal authority for information technologies and communications, has also informed TV-2 that as it will not be able to transmit from January 2015, the station’s license extension, which was recently granted until 2025, will be revoked.

More than 4,000 people took the streets of Tomsk on 14 December to protest the threatened closure of the broadcaster.

We are seriously concerned that TV-2 faces closure because of its independent reporting. Earlier this year, RTRS stopped broadcasting its signal for several weeks, allegedly due to extended repair work. The signal was switched back on only after the blackout received widespread coverage in the local and international press, as well as significant popular support in Tomsk.

We respectfully remind you that a state monopoly’s refusal to broadcast the signal of an independent TV station constitutes censorship and is a clear breach of the right to freedom of expression, 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 ensure that threat of closure of TV-2 is lifted so that it is able to continue providing important news and information to the people of the Tomsk region and beyond. We urge you to protect all independent information sources in Russia and to ensure that in future your country fully respects its international obligations to freedom of expression.


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

Yours sincerely,

 

Tomas Brunegård
President
World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

 

Erik Bjerager
President
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.

 

 


Cc:

Zhvachkin Sergey Anatolievich, Governor of Tomsk region: first@tomsk.gov.ru, ato@tomsk.gov.ru
Zharov Aleksandr Aleksandrovich, Head of Roscomnadzor: secretar4@rkn.gov.ru, rsoscans_ca@rsoc.ru
Romanchenko Andrey Yurievich, General Director of RTRS: rtrn@rtrn.ru

Author

Andrew Heslop's picture

Andrew Heslop

Date

2014-12-18 15:38

Contact information

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 ...