President Viktor Yushchenko called on journalists to be more active in strengthening and protection of freedom of speech in the country, he said at the meeting on the protection of freedom of speech and development of television and radio.

"I am worried by the situation with freedom of speech, especially in recent months ... Every day the space, which few years back belonged to the gains of freedom of speech is narrowing", he said, president's press office reported.

Among the examples of attacks on freedom of speech the President named suggestions of the BYuT and the Party of Regions to the draft revised Constitution in the subject of media, the recent court decision to ban criticism of the current Government, a number of provisions of the recently adopted law on presidential elections, the country's economic statistics being kept a secret, etc.

"It is a threat not only to your performance of duties, it's a great harm to the country that such a policy can bring ", said Yushchenko.

Of particular concern in this situation, the President called passiveness of certain representatives of the journalistic profession: "the tin soldiers, who are ready not just to accept such a policy, but to continue it”.

"We must understand that: cleanness of the politics and freedom of speech are identical with the notion of our independence. There is no independence without a free journalist", said the President.


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