U.S. condemns Crimean authorities for closing "space for freedom of expression"
The United States condemns authorities in Russian-occupied Crimea for closing "the space for freedom of expression" and calls on the Russian authorities to cease the occupation of the peninsula, which is part of Ukraine.
Acting Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State Marie Harf announced this at a briefing in Washington on Wednesday, an UNIAN correspondent reported.
"Authorities in Russian-occupied Crimea have shut down 11 of the 12 Crimean Tatar media outlets, including ATR TV – I think it’s up behind me now – the last independent television station serving the Crimean Tatar population," she said.
According to her, occupation authorities also have banned most Ukrainian language programming, replacing content with Russian programming. "These restrictions on media freedom are part of a worsening situation that demonstrates Russia’s disregard for the population of Crimea," she said.
"Occupation authorities are systematically closing the space for freedom of expression and leading an intimidation campaign that targets independent journalists for detention and prosecution," she said.
"All residents of Crimea should have access to a wide range of news, opinion, and information. We condemn Russia’s abuses and call for the end of its occupation of Crimea, which is part of Ukraine," she added.