Journalist takes district council to court for depriving him of accreditation


A preliminary hearing of the Pechersky District Court in Kyiv took place on 27 September over the civil suit brought by journalist Yury Shelyazhenko in protest at the Pechersky District Council’s removal of his accreditation.  The Council withdrew his accreditation for “coverage lacking in objectivity in the newspaper “Evening news” of the activity of the district council, rigging of facts by Shelyazhenko and filming a session of the District Council without the Secretariat’s consent.”

Yury Shelyazhenko maintains that the information in his article was accurate and says that for this reason he decided to turn to the court.

Mykhailyna Skoryk, Head of the Kyiv Media Trade Union states that since the Union is convinced that the Council exceeded its authority, they are supporting Yury in his suit. She added that the Institute for Mass Information was providing legal support.

IMI lawyer Roman Holovenko says that the law “On the Press” does not clearly establish grounds for removing accreditation in such a case. He adds that there must be an infringement of procedure of access to the district council or obstruction of its activities to warrant withdrawal of accreditation.

“We are planning to create an important precedent since the law refers to infringements of access procedure in the Council premises. It does not deal with the content of journalist material which is referred to in this case.”

The Union and IMI are calling on journalists to give coverage to this case as it continues.  (abridged)

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