Human Rights in Ukraine. Website of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

Coercive subscription to the state and communal editions in the Vinnitsa oblast


Our governor Viktor Kotsemir knows only two types of newspapers: “correct” and “opposition”.

In his letter No. 01-1-43-5903 of 14 November 2003 the governor wrote: “I ask to guarantee the subscription for state and communal oblast editions at your enterprise…” This looks as an entreaty, is not it? But the phrase “I ask to report about the fulfillment of this errand to the control department of the oblast state administration before 1 December 2003” does not looks so.

The newspaper “Podoliya” is at the top of the list of the “correct” newspapers, which are vitally important for a state employee. It is followed by “Vinnichina”, “Panorama”, “Uriadovy kuryer” and “Golos Ukrainy”.

The report must include: the number of copies of all newspapers, to which the organization subscribed, and the number of people working in this organization. Besides, it must be specified how many workers subscribed for these editions individually. The same information must be given about every department of the organization.

 (“33 kanal”, Vinnitsa, No. 50, 10 December 2003)

* * *

Our readers and our colleagues from the districts communicate to us their stories about the coercive subscription. The workers of a post office are forced to subscribe for the communal newspaper “Podoliya”. A nurse from Oratov phoned to us and told that the administration of her hospital made the medics to subscribe to the medical newspaper “Medicina Vinnichiny”.

The collective of the newspaper of the Barska district administration got the order to subscribe for 15 copies of the newspaper “Podilskiy kray”. Well, this is not the end of the joke. The matter is that only 10 persons work in the newspaper.

All these demands are illegal. Do not be afraid to say “no” and to bring a suit against the officials, who abuse their power. We will support you.

Let us struggle together for our only freedom – the freedom in choosing. The newspaper “33 kanal” turns to the directorate in charge of the press and information and to the health directorate of the oblast state administration with the demand to give explanations about this situation.

(“33 kanal”, Vinnitsa, No. 43, 22 October 2003)

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