Parliamentary Committee on Freedom of Speech to protest over “temnyky”


At a meeting on 1 October the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Freedom of Speech and Information considered the situation which has arisen over the newspaper “Molod Cherkashchyby”. The entire staff have lost their jobs after the paper was supposedly sold.

The day before National Deputies received a letter signed by 10 members of the newspaper’s editorial office alleging censorship and pressure on journalists by the Head of the Cherkasy Regional Administration [CRA] Oleksandr Cherevok.

To back up their allegations, they provided a letter dated 23 September to the Central Department for Internal Security of the CRA to the Heads of the Regional and City Administrations. The letter proposed “material for urgent publication in the municipal publication”.  There was also a photo of Viktor Baloha, Head of the President’s Secretariat, an article with criticism of BYuT [the Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko] as well as a letter from one well-known National Deputy and former dissident to another expressing outrage at the latter’s political stand in the present conflict between President and Prime Minister.

The members of the editorial office also claim that they were supposed to provide full versions of the newspaper every morning before 10 a.m. “for daily monitoring”.

The members of the Committee agreed unanimously to

  1. call on the Prosecutor General to investigate the allegations of persecution of journalists and use of “temnyky” [which in Kuchma’s time were the instructions given to media outlets on what to publish and what to avoid, and how to cover stories] and to initiate a criminal investigation;
  2. address an open letter to the President calling on him to temporarily suspend the head of the Cherkasy Regional Administration until all circumstances have been established;
  3. make an official statement at the session of the Verkhovna Rada on 3 October and prepare a draft parliamentary resolution on the issue.

Based on material at

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