Human Rights Watch has urged Ukraine to immediately lift sanctions against Russian social networks
KIEV, May 17. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko should immediately lift sanctions against Russian social networks VKontakte and Odnoklassniki, as well as Mail.ru and Yandex companies, and take steps to protect freedom of expression and information in Ukraine, Human Rights Watch said in a statement.
“It’s an inexcusable violation of Ukrainians’ right to information of their choice, and the European Union and Ukraine’s other international partners should immediately call on Ukraine to reverse it,” Tanya Cooper, Ukraine researcher at Human Rights Watch, was quoted as saying. “In a single move Poroshenko dealt a terrible blow to freedom of expression in Ukraine,” she said.
“This is yet another example of the ease with which President Poroshenko unjustifiably tries to control public discourse in Ukraine. Poroshenko may try to justify this latest step, but it is a cynical, politically expedient attack on the right to information affecting millions of Ukrainians, and their personal and professional lives,” Cooper said.
The decree would be hard to enforce without changing the law as “only a court can order internet service providers to take action against a website,” Human Rights Watch said with reference to Oksana Romaniuk, executive director of Kyiv-based Institute of Mass Information.