The declaration of the Guild of Odessa correspondents of central mass media


“Instead of investigating the real facts of persecutions of journalists, the Ukrainian power tries to discredit Vladimir Mostovoy, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Zerkalo nedeli”, with its ostentatious care”, reads the declaration of the Guild of Odessa correspondents of central mass media adopted on 28 May 2003.

The UNIAN correspondent communicates that the document, in particular, states: “The Guild of Odessa correspondents of central mass media regards the persecution of the V. Mostovoy organized by the oligarchic forces as just another attempt to disorient the Ukrainian public by discrediting the leader of an independent edition” (UNIAN: V. Mostovoy became a laureate of the premium “For freedom and future of mass media”. It was pointed out in the notification about the reward that V. Mostovoy had to work “under the conditions of intimidation and permanent persecution”. After this Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma ordered to the Ministry of Interior, USS and General Prosecutor’s office to investigate the facts of the intimidations and persecutions of the editor-in-chief of “Zerkalo nedeli” and to guarantee the safety of the journalist from the probable criminal attempts.)

The members of the Guild of Odessa correspondents of leading Kyiv, Moscow and other editions do not conceal that they admire “the incontrovertible professional and moral authority of V. Mostovoy, who was elected to the post of the Commission on journalists’ ethics”, and believe that his rewarding with the premium “For freedom and future of mass media” was fully deserved.

“We are astonished by the cynicism of the power, which “does not notice” the numerous persecutions of the journalists, in particular, in the South regions, in Bukovina and Donbass, threats addressed to them, infringement of their professional rights, unclosed ordered murders, etc.”, states the appeal approved by the assembly of the Guild. “Yet, the top authorities try to create the illusion of almost paternal care for the safety of V. Mostovoy, who, by the way, never turned for help to law-enforcing organs”.

“On the contrary”, the documents reads, “frequently the publications of rather influential “ZN” protect regional mass media and journalists from the arbitrariness of the officials; for example, recently the repressions against the newspaper “Veksel” were stopped in that way”. “However”, the authors of the decparation state, “it is not always possible to achieve the triumph of justice under the conditions of the unpunished persecution and intimidation of independent mass media. One of the examples is the attack at the journalist of the TV company “Odessa plus” and the traditional intentional retardation of the investigation.

The assembly of the Guild discussed the situation that was formed around the company “Odessa plus”: one of the workers of the company had been taken to hospital after a criminal attack, and TV journalists Leonid Suchshenko, Nina Zaytseva and others were intimidated by phone. The strangers threatened the journalists with the attack at them or arson of the TV company, if the company would not stop the broadcasting of the features “on the problems of city municipal economy”.

The journalists were also indignant at the latest fact of intimidation: on 28 May three strangers rushed into the editorial office of the newspaper “Rabota i otdykh” (“Work and rest”). They passed to Oleksandr Reva, the editor of this opposition edition, the propositions from their “acquaintances”: “It should be better for you to leave this affair, so work and rest. They would find you, if they wanted!” O. Reva thinks that these threats are connected with the publication in his newspaper of the request of MP Oleksiy Kazachenko to law-enforcing organs about the attack at the journalist of “Odessa plus”.

Oleksandra Mizina. UNIAN
The Institute of mass information, 29 May 2003

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