Commissioner Muižnieks is concerned about reports that the Crimean Tatar ATR TV has been forced to stop broadcasting in Crimea. Current obstacles placed by the authorities to the work of ATR and other Crimean Tatar media outlets send a chilling message to media professionals working on the peninsula and endanger the diversity of the media landscape in Crimea.
During his mission to Crimea in September 2014, Commissioner Muižnieks discussed the media freedom situation with local journalists, and collected information about the situation around ATR Channel. In his subsequent report the Commissioner referred to attempts to influence the TV’s content and editorial policies through checks and warnings undertaken in the name of fighting extremism. In that report, the Commissioner also raised concerns about other actions which had targeted members of the Crimean Tatar minority.
“Appropriate measures must immediately be taken to enable independent and unhindered broadcasting of ATR TV. Favourable and secure conditions must be created for other media outlets and journalists working in Crimea,” stated the Commissioner.
The Commissioner would like to reiterate his previously expressed position that minorities in Crimea should enjoy secure conditions enabling them to practice their religion in public or private, receive education in their languages and openly manifest their views without fear and intimidation.