Council of Churches urges Rada to finalize draft Law “On media”
The AUCCRO has called for the finalization of the draft Law “On Media”, taking into account the comments and suggestions of the religious community.
The All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (AUCCRO) called for the finalization of the draft Law "On Media", which the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine plans to consider in the first reading, and to which the religious community made a number of comments, reports "The Institute of Religious Freedom".
The profile committee recommended that Parliament send bills No. 2693 and No. 2693-1 for revision to take into account public comments.
According to religious figures, the provisions of Clause 3, Part 1 of Article 37 of Bill No. 2693, which prohibits the dissemination of statements that are discriminatory against individuals and their groups, and the corresponding fine in the amount of UAH 23,615 to UAH 236,150 for print media and up to a complete block for online media, restrict the right to freedom of speech.
The Council of Churches criticized the provisions of Bill No. 2693 prohibiting religious organizations from establishing, owning, or managing audiovisual media (Part 3 of Article 21 of the draft), recalling that such a policy was pursued by the atheistic, ideologically biased Soviet regime.
“Such an approach is unacceptable in a democratic, pluralistic and free society, such as Ukraine, including given the guarantees of ideological diversity and the prohibition of censorship provided for in Articles 15 and 24 of the Constitution of Ukraine,” the AUCCRO’s message says.
The working group established by the Humanitarian and Information Policy Committee reviewed these and other comments, providing for conceptual changes and clarification of a number of provisions of the draft Law “On Media”. In this regard, at a meeting on April 30, the Committee decided that a large number of proposed changes could not be taken into account in the framework of the preparation for the second reading, and therefore both bills should be sent for revision for a second first reading to prepare instead of two drafts a single new version of the draft Law.
Thus, it is reported that the work on the draft Law "On Media" will continue, and bills No. 2693 and No. 2693-1 will not be adopted by the Parliament of Ukraine this week.
During the joint meeting, the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations invited the leadership of the relevant Committee to discuss ways to eliminate significant shortcomings from the draft Law "On Media" that the religious community drew attention to.
We recall that in February this year, the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations also sent to the Committee for Humanitarian and Information Policy its proposals for the draft Law “On Media”.