EU blasts Kremlin for closing Crimean Tatar ATR TV (Video)
The EU has issued a statement condemning the shutdown of the world’s only Crimean Tatar TV channel ATR stationed in the Russia-annexed Ukrainian territory of Crimea on April 1, along with some other media outlets, as “a blatant violation of the right to freedom of expression.”
In the past few weeks, searches have been held in ATR premises, and journalists were threatened, Ukraine Today reports.
EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic called for the immediate reestablishment of the channel’s broadcasting rights, expressing concern over the Russian authorities’ move, which she said was “part of a wider pattern of persecution and intimidation of the Crimean Tatar community.”
Kosijancic urged Russian officials to respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of Crimea’s inhabitants, saying that the Crimean people deserve unimpeded access to the plurality of media.
ATR’s broadcasting license was not renewed although the channel had prepared and submitted all needed documents and application before deadline, according to Amnesty International.
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