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Rights Groups Criticize Ukraine's Draft Law On Media

Reporters Without Borders and Freedom House have called on Ukrainian authorities not to pass a draft law that would give the government power to censor domestic and international media.

The two rights organizations released statements on August 12 criticizing a proposed law that would give Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council "draconian" powers to shut down and restrict media considered as threatening to "security and national interests."

Ukrainian lawmakers approved the first draft of the bill on August 12.

Freedom House president David Kramer said while Ukraine is being subjected to "an unprecedented barrage of inciteful and willfully misleading stories on the airwaves, the Internet, and in print, this bill does not strike the right balance between security and human rights."

Johann Bihr from Reporters Without Borders said the draft law "gives the (authorities) exorbitant powers to order the broadest forms of censorship on the basis of extremely vague criteria and with no safeguards."

Based on reporting by AFP, Freedom House press release