Who called Kuchma . enemy of the press No. 6. ?
On 30 September 1998 at the press conference in Simferopol President Kuchma declared, referring to the security service of Ukraine, that the title of the enemy of the press No. 6, ascribed to him by the American Committee of press protection, was paid by one of the political parties of Ukraine. So, the Ukrainian President accused the independent organization of being corrupted.
The newspaper . Den. turned to the Committee of press protection, asking to comment these words and answer another question: why in this rating the President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko is absent.
Ms. Christine Lapichak, the coordinator of the European program of the Committee answered the request, and her response was published verbatim in . Den. No. 160:
. That is true that Ukrainian citizens do not know about our organization, although this year we attempted to widen our work and to cooperate with Ukrainian journalists. We, certainly, focus our attention on the states where the work conditions for journalists deteriorate especially fast. In Ukraine, . thanks to. the President, the conditions of work for journalists deteriorated most of all on the territory of the former Soviet Union. In the neighboring Belarus, inspite of all attempts of President Lukashenko to suppress all critical voices, independent professional mass media do exist, and many professional journalists are known to people outside Belarus. In Ukraine the press is made political and is unable to fulfil its important duty in the society. This is an objective fact. No negations and accusations can change the situation.
We have a good reputation among citizens of the United States and other states in the world. They know that we do our work objectively, professionally and ethically. Our aim is to defend journalists. rights and freedom of the press in the whole world. So let citizens of Ukraine, although their access to objective and alternative information is decreasing every day, decide whom to trust.