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11.11.2010

Zhytomyr journalists announce boycott of the Regional MIA Public Relations Department

   

Following accusations which they dismiss as groundless against journalists from the Zhytomyr newspaper “20 minutes”, Dana Minayeva and Oksana Trokoz, who is also a special correspondent for TV Channel 5, the newspaper’s team has declared a boycott of the public relations department of the Zhytomyr Regional Department of the MIA. They call on colleagues to join them in this.

“After the latest incident when officers of the Zhytomyr Regional MIA used force against journalists from our newspaper, unlawfully removed the editorial board’s video recorder, the public relations department of the MIA began circulating knowingly untruthful, illogical and false information. They claimed that the journalists had forced their way into the flat where investigative activities were under way, did not identify themselves or show passes, and in general were “politely asked to leave”. This is despite the fact that the testimony of the main participants in the events and audio recordings published on our site and on central television suggest the contrary.”

They have therefore decided that they have all grounds for distrusting and boycotting information from the Regional MIA Public Relations Department.

The journalists say that their boycott will continue until the official decision of the Prosecutor General regarding their stating and a public apology from the said department to the journalists.

As reported, the two journalists on 9 November received summonses to appear at the Zhytomyr Regional Department of the MIA on 19 November.  They were present during the arrest on 3 November by members of a drugs squad of six people, including  Belarusian opposition figures: the coordinators of Amnesty International in Ukraine Igor Koktysh and his wife Iryna Tiutunnyk; Artyom Dubsky, recognized by AI as a prisoner of conscience, Tetyana and Vitaly Tyshchenki and Oleksiy Zakshevsky.

The journalists arrived after Iryna Tiutiunnyk rang and informed that police in plain clothes had burst into their flat and bound them. Oksana Trokoz says that the officers twisted her arms, and removed the newspaper’s Canon video recorder.

The public relations department of the Zhytomyr Regional MIA confirmed that the press representatives had “interfered in the specific nature of the work of law enforcement structures”. 

Both the journalists themselves and the people who were in the flat at the time reject this description of the situation.

From a report at Telekritika

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