EFJ Demands End to Political Interference in Ukraine Media
The European Federation of Journalists, EFJ, today backed protests by journalists working for media controlled by the ‘Privat media group against political interference and a two month delay on salary payments. Journalists at the Gazeta po-kievski newspaper, a subsidiary of Privat, claim that the newspapers accounts have been blocked following the publication of critical articles on President Yanukovych.
"We are deeply concerned by this latest evidence of political interference in the work of Ukraine journalists, " said Arne König, EFJ President. "It is not the first time economic pressure, the withdrawal of salaries and the threat of job losses are used to silence critical journalism."
According to the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine, whose members work for Privat, the claims of economic problems at the Gazeta po-kievski, are a cover for political interference designed to intimidate the journalists. The newspaper recorded healthy financial returns last year but the printers have been refusing to publish recent editions, threatening the future of the paper.
These latest protests add to fears of a concerted political campaign to bring media under control leading to a series of journalists demonstrations in 2010.
For more information, please contact EFJ on + 32 2 235 22 00
The EFJ represents more than 250.000 members in over 30 countries