Editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Rzhyshchiv” (The Kyiv oblast) was dismissed
23 June 2003. The Green Party of Ukraine sent letters to Mykola Tomenko, the head of the Parliamentary Committee in charge of the freedom of speech, Igor Liubchenko, the head of the Union of Journalists of Ukraine, and Viktor Medvedchuk, the head of Presidents Administration, with the demand to restore Oleg Predanchenko on the post of the editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Rzhyshchiv”.
On 12 May 2003 Oleg Predanchenko, the editor-in-chief of Rzhyshchiv town social and political newspaper “Rzhyshchiv” and the head of the local organization of the Green Party of Ukraine, was dismissed from his post. According to Predanchenkos words, he was fired after the sitting of the round table, at which various political forces discussed the political reform proposed by the President. Oleg Predanchenko communicated that he, being the head of the local organization of the Green Party, expressed the position of the party, which appeared to be very unpleasant for other participants. “After the round table I was summoned to the mayor, who said that I could not head the town newspaper, since my views were different from the views of the local power”, told Predanchenko. In his speech concerning the attitude to the political reform, the head of the local organization of the Green Party told that the party protested against the division of the Parliament into the Chamber of regions and the State gatherings, increase of the term of deputies authorities to 5 years, decrease of the number of MPs, dissolution of Parliament by the President in the case of non-approval of state budget, the adoption of laws by referendums. Sergey Kurikin, the head of the political council of the Green party, called this situation “the brutal violation of the professional rights of a journalist and persecution because of political reasons”.
The Institute of mass information, “Barometr svobody slova”, June 2003
Editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Rzhyshchiv” Oleg Predanchenko was forced to leave his work, since his position on the political reform disagreed with the “official tack” of the local power. He told about this at a press conference. Predanchenko explained that on 4 April he took part in the sitting of the round table devoted to the political reform. Being the head of the Rzhyshchiv town organization of the Green Party, he expressed the position of the party on this question. The journalist says that his speech provoked the inadequate reaction of the organizers. In particular, Alla Khrimenko, the manager of the town executive committee, who chaired the round table, stated that he had no right for the position that disagreed with the “official tack”, since he was the editor-in-chief of the town newspaper. On 7 April O. Predanchenko was summoned to Rzhyshchiv mayor Mykola Spychak. The mayor said that Predanchenko could not occupy the post of the editor of the town newspaper, since he did not share the political views published in the newspaper by the local power. On 12 May O. Predanchenko was summoned to the mayor again, and after this he was forced to hand the appeal about the dismissal from the post of the editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Rzhyshchiv”.
(«Silski visti», No. 73, 26 June 2003)