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13.12.2001

The appeal of the collective of the Lugansk TV company ‘Efir-1’.

   

We, the personnel of the Lugansk TV company ‘Efir-1’ appeal to everybody, for whom the words ‘freedom of speech’, ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’ are attractive, to everybody, who believe that we live in a law-abiding state.

The TV company ‘Efir-1’, which always makes its best to realize citizens’ right for obtaining truthful, unbiased and timely information, for the recent six months is an object of attacks, pressure and persecutions on the side of the people, who grabbed the power in Lugansk. Ukrainian mass media more than once informed about the attempts to liquidate our TV company, about threats and physical violence directed at our journalists.

As is known, the liquidation of the TV company ‘Efir-1’, which had been initiated by the town administration (whose legitimacy is now discussed in court), was suspended according to the operable laws. It was made because the complaint against the court decision on the liquidation is also considered in court and up to now the consideration is not finished.

Having exhausted all possible tricks to close our company, from the intimidation of the personnel to the dismissal of the manager with the formula ‘… in the connection with the liquidation of the company’ (the liquidation was suspended according to Article 284-4 of the Civil-Procedural Code), the ‘liquidators’ undertook one more illegal action against ‘Efir-1’.

On 1 November 2001 at 19:00 the broadcasting of the TV company ‘Efir-1’ was interrupted. Features of the Lugansk cable television began to be transmitted on our frequency. The former deputy manager of out TV company, dismissed before, appeared on the screen and declared that the TV company ‘Efir-1’ went bankrupt and that this channel would be used by the Lugansk cable television.

This man – Vasiliy Dunin – was appointed the acting manager of the TV company ‘Efir-1’. It was done by the decision of the liquidation commission (whose activities, we remind, were suspended because the decision on liquidation is now being considered in court) and another illegal act: the order of the mayor, signed by the secretary of the town council. We learned that the newly appointed acting director sent a letter to the administration of the transmitting radio and TV center about the translation of the features of the Lugansk cable television on the ‘Efir-1’ frequency, stamping his signature with the seal of the TV company ‘Efir-1’.

These actions inflict a considerable damage to the material state of ‘Efir-1’ (since we violate our obligations before advertisers and other customers) and harms its reputation in the eyes of the potential advertisers and rank-and-file viewers (features, scheduled before, do not come to the screen). The company administration cannot be responsible for the features translated on our channel under our logotype since 19:00 of 1 November 2001.

In the evening of 1 November Dunin for several times repeated his speech, where explained that ‘Efir-1’ went bankrupt and so cannot prepare its own features. We regard such statements as discrediting our collective, since they are completely untrue.

We are sure that all the actions of the Lugansk town council and the liquidation commission directed at the liquidation of the TV company ‘Efir-1’ and any personnel changes in our company are illegal, according to Article 284-4 of the Civil-Procedural Code, until the court decision is taken.

For the time being we refuse to obey any decisions and orders of the liquidation commission and the town council making use of our rights stipulated by Article 19 and 60 of the Ukrainian Constitution, which read that nobody is obliged to obey illegal orders.

The collective of the TV company ‘Efir-1’ is convinced that the decision on the liquidation of our company is caused by the factors, which are unrelated with the economic activities of the company, but is an execution of a mass medium, which objectively elucidated the events that brought about the scandalous change of power in the town and the split in the town council.

As we learned, Vadim Zhelezny, a representative of the Lugansk oblast administration, took part in the seizure of the transmitter and the frequency channel of ‘Efir-1’.

The obvious disrespect of laws on the side of the oblast administration officers and the executive committee of the Lugansk town council, as well as the absence of any reaction to our numerous complaints and appeals directed to the town and oblast prosecutor’s offices, inflict damage to the reputation of our state and personally to the President of Ukraine.

The execution of the TV company ‘Efir-1’ on the eve of the 10 thanniversary of the Ukrainian independence is a cynical triumph of lawlessness and permissiveness of the corrupted political swindlers in Lugansk and the oblast.

Personnel of the TV company ‘Efir-1’

Tel.: (0642) 53-54-42; 53-53-90; Tel./Fax 53-32-31, efir@lep.lg.ua  

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