15 Feb 2017 Lvl. 2
Alert created on: 01 Apr 2015 n° 30/2015 Ukraine
Forced Closure of Crimean Tatar-Language Media Outlets
All activities of the Council of Europe concerning the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol are being undertaken in compliance with the terms of decision CM/Del/Dec(2014)1196/1.8 and subsequent decisions of the Committee of Ministers condemning the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation and upholding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, the Russian authorities passed a law obliging media outlets there to register with Roskomnadzor, the Russian media regulator, by 1 April 2015, imposing severe penalties for those continuing to broadcast without registration. Despite submitting several applications, most Crimean Tatar-language media outlets have not received licenses. Those affected include ATR, a media holding that broadcasts the only Crimean Tatar-language TV channel; ATR’s affiliates, FM radio stations Meydan and Lider, a children's television channel Lale and a news website 15 Minutes; Crimean Tatar news agency QHA; and Crimean-language newspapers Avdet and Yildiz. ATR and its affiliates stopped broadcasting after not receiving licenses by the 1st April deadline; QHA has announced it will move to Kyiv; the editor of Avdet will continue publishing, despite risking arrest. ATR has previously been harassed by Russian authorities - it was cautioned for ‘extremist content’, and a group of unidentified forces raided its newsroom in January 2015, detaining staff, confiscating equipment and shutting down analogue broadcasting during the raid. Many Crimean Tatars fear the shutdown of these outlets signals a renewal of persecution.
15 Feb 2017
Reply from the Government of Ukraine
02 Apr 2015
Commissioner Muižnieks calls for unhindered broadcasting of ATR TV
02 Apr 2015
Thorbjørn Jagland urges Crimean Tatar TV station to continue
Relevant CoE instruments Disclaimer
04 Apr 2016
Factsheet on Freedom of Expression and the Broadcasting Media