A picket was held on Monday outside the Mayor of Kharkiv’s office by members of TV ATN, unlawfully removed from air last week.
Around a hundred people gathered, with other Kharkiv journalists, human rights activists and members of the public coming to support the channel.
The picketers held placards reading: “Who’s scared of whom?”’ “News without additions” and “News diet from the Mayor”. All the journalists were gagged with black ribbons.
A platform was erected outside the Mayor’s Office from which news reader Oleksandr Tykhonov read out the latest news release.
The picketers also brought a symbolic coffin for freedom of speech to the Mayor, Gennady Kernes.
As reported, last week three Kharkiv TV companies – ATN, Fora and ATVC – were simultaneously removed from air. All three are engaged in independent journalist activities and regularly broadcast criticism of the local authorities and various State bodies