Censorship returns?


Vasyl Tretetskiy, a deputy head of the Kharkiv regional state administration, turned to head of the Nova Vodolaga district council Lubov Bondarenko with the demand to stop the pressure on Roman Moskalenko, the editor of the Nova Vodolaga district newspaper “Visti Vodolazhchiny”.

According to the words of Vasyl Tretetskiy, he learned that the head of the district council repeatedly demanded from the editor of “Visti Vodolazhchiny” to agree with her the publications, which were prepared for printing in this newspaper, and expressed the ungrounded claims concerning the professional activities of the editor of the newspaper. In particular, Vasyl Tretetskiy informed that on 25 June 2005 Lubov Bondarenko issued the order, by which she decreased the salary of Roman Moskalenko “in connection with unsatisfactory quality of the publications, untimely reaction to the events in the district and improper elucidation of the activities of the district council”. On 15 August 2005 one more order appeared, by which Roman Moskalenko was deprived of another part of his salary “on the basis of analysis of some issues of the newspaper headed by him”.

“I do not know, who and by which criteria has carried out the analysis of publications in the newspaper “Visti Vodolazhchiny”, but I know well that the head of the district council has no relation to journalism and cannot order me how I must write and about what. That is why her claims on the quality of publications and my professionalism are, in my opinion, nothing but the undisguised brutal pressure on me and the collective of our newspaper, which is inadmissible in a democratic society”, says Roman Moskalenko.

Vasyl Tretetskiy, in his turn, regards the behavior of Lubov Bondarenko as open meddling into the activities of the newspaper “Visti Vodolazhchiny” and violation of the principles of the freedom of speech. “Despite the fact that the Nova Vodolaga district council is a founder of the newspaper “Visti Vodolazhchiny”, the head of the district council has no right to interfere in the work of the editorial board and to assess the efficiency of editor’s work depending on the quality of publications, especially since Roman Moskalenko does not work in the staff of the council”, said V. Tretetskiy. In this connection he proposed Ms. Bondarenko to cancel her orders about reduction of Roman Moskalenko’s salary and to stop the pressure on the editor in connection with fulfillment by him of his professional duties.

“If this would not be done in the nearest future, I will have to turn to the regional prosecutor’s office”, declared Vasyl Tretetskiy.

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