Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Crimean Tatar TV Says it’s being Deliberately Sidelined

By Ukrainska Pravda

The self-proclaimed authorities in Crimea are not accrediting the Crimean Tatar TV station ATR for official events, Ukrainska Pravda has been told by the channel’s deputy director general, Lilia Bujurova.

"Our TV channel hasn’t had access to parliamentary sessions since those unknown terrorists appeared there. No one is allowing us in. The only journalists in there are Russian. Our notes and phone calls to the press service don’t get a reply,” said Bujurova.

“Yesterday [March 11] we learnt by email that a new prosecutor was to be appointed. We read this as an invitation so we turned up, but they didn’t allow our team in. They said they’d been told not to admit ATR. It was only after we raised a fuss that we were allowed in to see the prosecutor.

“The same thing happened today with a press conference given by [Crimean deputy prime minister Rustam] Temirgaliev. A guard told us there were orders not to let ATR in. We had to argue our case again. The “Minister of Truth” [Crimean information minister Dmitry] Polonsky was passing and requested that we be admitted. The guard didn’t want to, but he did let us in.”

Bujurova also said that ATR was not notified of a briefing being given by the speaker of the Crimean parliament.

"We are being totally shut out," she said.

Bujurova recalled that ATR has been completely removed from cable TV networks in Crimea.

"We’re still clinging on to satellite – our main broadcasts are now on satellite. We also have our analogue signal covering Simferopol and the surrounding district for the moment,” she said. “Our website suffers constant lags; it’s virtually impossible to load it."

Bujurova has written to the Crimean government saying, “You are so keen on the Crimean Tatars, yet you don’t have the courage to invite the Crimean Tatar channel ATR to your events.... The ‘openness’ displayed by the new Crimean authorities is quite astonishing, and it’s something we’ll have to keep our viewers informed about.”

This article republished from Ukrainska Pravda with kind permission.

Original article here in Ukrainian.