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20.07.2006

STB journalists say that their conflict with the Party of the Regions is over and thank all their colleagues

   

The TV Channel states that the political incident over the events of 12 July near the Verkhovna Rada [when two of their journalists were physically and verbally assaulted by a State Deputy from this Party, and had their video cassette with footage forcibly removed] has been settled. At a meeting between the leader of the Party of the Regions Viktor Yanukovych and representatives of STB lasting over two hours, it became clear that  the political party was fully distancing itself from such methods of “communicating” with employees of the mass media.

Viktor Yanukovych personally apologised to the Channel STB journalists. He stressed that a political council of his party would consider expelling State Deputy Oleh Kalashnikov from the party and the parliamentary faction of the Party of the Regions.  He stated that Kalashnikov’s behaviour had been unacceptable and that it was incompatible with the position of the Party of the Regions in their approach to the mass media.

The meeting was attended by journalists from the program “Windows – News”, Margarita Sytnyk, Olha Chervakova and the Head of the Board of the closed joint stock company “International Media Centre STB” Volodymyr Borodyansky.

STB considers that O. Kalashnikov’s actions must receive legal assessment. The TV Channel will defend the interests of its employees to the conclusion of such legal redress. It stressed that those responsible for an attack on journalists who were carrying out  their professional duties must be punished in accordance with the laws of Ukraine.

TV Channel STB also expressed their gratitude to the Ukrainian journalists, representatives of the mass media of other countries and civic organizations which had been unanimous in upholding freedom of speech.  It added that this had undoubtedly been one of the clearest expressions of journalist and public solidarity over recent times.

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