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19.04.2011

Kyiv Post Editorial Team denied access to offices

   

 

The Kyiv Post Editorial Team were on 19 April prevented from entering the newspaper’s building on the instruction of the General Director, Jim Filippoff. The newspaper’s Deputy Chief Editor, Katerina Gorchinskaya informed TK of this new development, explaining that the staff had arrived as usual, but were told by the security guard that he had been instructed, by an order from Mr Filippoff, to not let them in.  The reason given was that they were allegedly refusing to work with the new Chief Editor, Jim Davis.

She says that Jim Davis appeared in the evening of 18 April. “He didn’t greet anybody, he wasn’t introduced in any way and didn’t introduce himself, nor did he try to get into dialogue with the editorial team”.

Katerina Gorchinskaya recounts that the new Chief Editor’s first action was to “come to our English language sigte which nobody has had access to since Friday and put in a statement saying that the rumours about censorship at Kyiv Post were nonsense

She says that the journalists endeavoured to talk with Jim Filippoff and express their wish for dialogue with the publisher. “For the moment we  from our end having been trying to do this, but from his, we have seen only aggressive actions – we were first cut off from the website, then we were told, in ultimatum style, that our conditions had not been accepted, and that on Monday a new editor would be arriving. If we didn’t like that, goodbye, and he will fill the newsroom staff as he sees it. Then we were blocked access to the system folder and today we are not being allowed into the office. There is an escalation of the conflict, initiated by the publisher.”

The journalists are presently meeting to discuss their next moves.

As reported, on Friday the Chief Editor of the newspaper Kyiv Post, Brian Bonner, was dismissed by the owner of the newspaper, Mohammad Zahoor. The dismissal was apparently due to Mr Zahoor’s demand that an article be removed. “On the Hot Seat”, published in English and Ukrainian begins with the words: In Europe’s breadbasket, critics are talking about the ‘Great Grain Robbery.’ Agriculture Minister Mykola Prysyazhnyuk is under fire for state controls on grain exports that favor a controversial company, Khlib InvestBud. Speaking with the Kyiv Post, Prysyazhnyuk defended the actions.

The Chief Editor refused to remove the article and was dismissed. The editorial team announced that they were going on strike in support of the Chief Editor’s position. 

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