Prosecutor General tops IMI “Press Enemies – 2008 list
The Institute for Mass Information (IMI) and the Independent Media Trade Union have published their list of “Enemies of the Press in 2008”.
The Prosecutor General ousted the Mayor of Kyiv Leonid Chernovetsky who after being the first laureate of this more than dubious honour has slipped into fourth place.
This is the third year that IMI and the Independent Media Trade Union have monitored which politicians and public officials have most threatened freedom of speech.
Their not-exactly “top ten” are:
- Oleksandr Medvedko, Prosecutor General – for terminating the criminal investigation against former National Deputy Oleh Kalashnikov (over the assault on an STB film crew); for lack of progress in the Gongadze case; for failing to respond over prominent crimes against journalists; failure to react to the armed seizure of the TV and radio broadcasting company “Krym” by Crimean deputies to stop a journalist programme about NATO.
- Yury Lutsenko, Minister of Internal Affairs – over conflict with a television channel and journalist; and over the beating by police officers of photographers during a protest over unlawful construction in Kyiv.
- Owners of media outlets – over numerous dismissals with infringements of labour rights; paying wages in envelopments and failure to observe labour legislation.
- Leonid Chernovetsky, Mayor of Kyiv – for failure to provide journalists with information about the Kyiv City State Administration and the Kyiv City Council; for conflict between his press service and an STB journalist who tried to ask him questions
- Volodymyr Kovalenko, Mayor of Nova Kakhovska
- Serhiy Kivalov, National Deputy (over a bizarre case involving conflict with STB journalist Ihor Yakovlev, which led to an initial court ruling sentencing the latter to 6 years imprisonment (this was later quashed at appeal)
- Rinat Akhmetov, National Deputy over a defamation suit demanding 100 thousand dollars (in a London court)
- Yury Kuvita, Head of the Department of Health for the Cherkasy Regional Administration – the media in the region are not allowed into medical establishments and not given any explanation. This began after a serious of features and articles about the criminal case against doctors of the Cherkasy district hospital in Chervona sloboda
- Hanna Shevchuk, Head of the Baryshiv District Council (Kyiv region)
- Mykola Nykitin, Deputy of the Lutsk City Council
(where no “sins” are itemized, they in one way or another involve pressure on journalists)
From information at www.imi.org.ua