Immediately after the annexation of Crimea, the occupants began to exert pressure on the information sphere, forcing pro-Ukrainian media out of the peninsula. A corresponding statement was made by a member of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, the Director of the "Crimean News" agency Gayana Yuksel at the panel discussion "Crimea three years after the occupation: Situation, conclusions, prospects" held in Kyiv, QHA correspondent reports.
“The peninsula, previously free, open and accessible to many media and monitoring groups, has turned into a closed zone. Following the occupation of Crimea, the information field landscape began to change. Criminal cases against journalists were initiated, editorials seized, threats and calls for "preventive conversations" began, which further turned into open forms of pressure, when journalists were told that they could not continue working in this field," Yuksel said.
She specified that 11 media were forced to leave the Crimea and currently continue their work in the mainland Ukraine: TV channels Chernomorka and ATR, news agency Crimean News (QHA), websites of "The Center for Journalistic Investigations", "Crimean Events", "Crimea .Realii "," 15 minutes", "Black Sea News", the newspaper "Crimean Svetlitsa ", as well as the radio" Meydan" and the children's TV channel "Lale".
“Now the Crimean mass media on the mainland continue to cover the Crimean issue, under unusual conditions. Journalists tell about the territory, which they do not have access to,” Gayana Yuksel shared her pain.
According to her, since the occupation in the Crimea more than 460 violations of journalists’ rights have been recorded. Furthermore, over three years, hundreds of media outlets were forced to cease their work.
“It was due to numerous initiated criminal cases, administrative protocols and cases of obstacle to activities. A vivid example is the high-profile case against journalist Nikolai Semena," the Mejlis member said.
Yet Gayana Yuksel assured that the Crimea will remain the primary issue of the information policy for the Crimean media on the mainland Ukraine, despite the limited access to the peninsula.