Maksim Birovash, a correspondent of the newspaper “Dilovy novyny” (Nova Kakhovka), is threatened with physical violence


The newspaper “Vgoru” (the last issue) and the newspaper “Dilovy novyny” (the issue of 20 November) published the article by M. Birovash “The way of Roksolana” – a journalistic investigation of the facts of selling Nova Kakhovka women abroad for the work in sex-business.

“Everything began before the publication in “Dilovy novyny””, tells Maksim Birovash. “While the issue was printed, a man came to the editor-in-chief of the newspaper, called himself a USS officer and asked what it should be done to prevent the publication of the article “The way of Roksolana”. The editor told that it was impossible, then the man promised “the problems” and went away. After that some strangers began to phone to the editorial board, to my mother and to me with threats. Yet, they did not content themselves with the phone threats. On 26 November, when I went out from the building of editorial board, a car pulled up near me. Two boys appeared from the car; they told that I had damaged their business and, so, owned money to them”.

On the same day Maksim sent by fax the application to the General Prosecutor’s office and informed his Kherson colleagues and Sergiy Guz, the head of the Kyiv media trade union, about the threats. The oblast organization of the Voters’ Committee of Ukraine (Birovash heads the Nova Kakhovka branch of this organization) directed the letter to head of the oblast USS Oleksiy Obal with the request to investigate the situation and to defend their colleague. The town militia proposed the guard to M. Birovash.

By the words of the journalist, the mother of the girl, whose story was described in the article, is intimidated too.

The oblast USS directorate informed us that, according to the law, they had not to investigate such cases: this was the competence of militia. They also said that the officer of the Nova Kakhovka town directorate, who investigated the case of women-trade, had the right to ask to postpone the publication of the article in interests of the investigation.

 ("Vgoru", Kherson, No. 49, 4 December 2003)

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