Blocked Media on Crimea Territory in 2019

The regular monitoring missions held by the Crimean Human Rights Group in 2019 found out that the Ukrainian FM radio stations in Crimea were constantly blocked by the Russian broadcasters. The Ukrainian FM radio broadcasting is almost inaccessible in such settlements as Dzhankoy, Yermakovo, Krasnoperekopsk, Lobanovo, Pridorozhnoye, Solionoye Ozero. In such settlements as Armiansk, Ishun’, Zelenaya Niva, Vishnevka, Krasnoarmeyskoye, Istochnoye, Novoaleksandrovka, Martynovka, Zavet Leninskiy, Predmostnoye, Zarechnoye, Ovoschnoye, and Voinka the signal is partly blocked.

Broadcasting of the Ukrainian FMs via the Broadcating Tower located in Chaplynka in the Northern Crimea is jammed by such Russian stations:

KRYM – 95.3 frequency of KULTURA Radio

MORE – 96.4 frequency of PERETS FM

SPUTNIK – 102.3 frequency of MEYDAN

MAYAK – 103.5 frequency of KHAYAT

VATAN SEDASY – 106.4 frequency of PROMIN’

Broadcasting of the Ukrainian FMs via the Broadcating Tower located in Chongar in the Northern Crimea is jammed by such Russian stations:

SPUTNIK – 100.7  frequency of UKRAINSKOYE RADIO

VESTI – 102.6 frequency of PROMIN’

KRYM – 103 frequency of ARMIA FM

MORE – 104.1 frequency of RADIO NV

VESTI – 105.9 frequency of KRYM.REALII

VATAN SEDASY – 107.8 frequency of KHERSON FM

The CHRG monitoring missions in July, September and December 2019 showed that at least 18 websites were blocked by 9 providers in 9 settlements of Crimea, including 13 top Ukrainian media: Channel 5, Glavcom, Depo, Zerkalo Nedeli, Left Bank, RBK – Ukraine, Sled.net, Strichka, Ukrayinska Pravda, Ukrinform, Fokus, Cenzor.net, UAinfo. The websites of the Mejlis of Crimean Tatar People, Hizb-ut-Tahrir, and Jehovah’s Witnesses are also absolutely inaccessible.

In addition, all this year round the providers prevent their users from accessing the LinkedIn social network and Telegram messenger.

The website accessibility was checked by monitors using networks of 9 providers in 9 Crimean settlements: BelNet (Belogorsk), SevStar (Sevastopol), Mechta (Simferopol), Bosportelecom (Kerch), YaltaNet (Yalta), SkyLine (Krasnoperekopsk District), Sivash Net (Krasnoperekopsk),GigaBite (Bakhchisarai), Dzhankoy Online (Dzhankoy).

Blocking without any grounds the independent media in Crimea that operate freely in the Ukraine controlled territory and respect the international laws on free speech, absolutely contradicts Article 10 of the Convention for the Human Rights Protection. Blocking the media not only restricts freedom of expression but also deprives Ukrainian nationals living in Crimea of access to the information of independent mass media and organizations. In addition, such pressure of the RF authorities on the free speech in Crimea violates some international commitments undertaken by the RF as Council of Europe and OSCE member state.

For instance, this is a violation of the commitment to contribute to improving the dissemination of radio and television information undertaken in the framework of the Conference on Cooperation in the humanitarian and other fields in Helsinki in 1975.

The commitment to ensure a direct and normal reception of broadcasts of radio services operating in accordance with the broadcasting rules of the International Telecommunication Union, adopted by the participating states in Vienna in 1989, is violated.

The commitment adopted by participating states in Moscow in 1991 that the public would be free in receiving and transferring the information and concepts without interference of the governmental authorities, irrespective of the borders, including the foreign publications and TV and radio broadcasting programs, is also violated.

In addition, the RF with its actions in Crimea completely neglects the commitment to take all necessary actions to establish a necessary base for operations of free and independent mass media to ensure uninterrupted cross-border and in-state information flows adopted in Istanbul in 1999 as a part of the European Security Charter.

According to the Crimean Human Rights Group opinion, such practice constitutes a part of the occupation authorities policy to control the Crimean media space and manipulate the Crimeans’ public opinion.

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