11.12.2000 | E. Zakharov, Kharkiv

The newspaper ‘Informatsiyny buleten’ on the brink of closure


The Kremenchug weekly ‘Informatsiyny buleten’ (‘IB’) has been published since 1990 and has a pronounced national-democratic orientation. For the last three years, supporting people’s deputies Gregory Omelchenko, Anatoliy Ermak, Sergiy Golovaty and others, the ‘IB’ became oppositional. It published materials against President Leonid Kuchma during the election campaign of 1999 and against the recent referendum. So, as ‘Prava ludyny’ wrote more than once, the ‘IB’ suffered from various kinds of administrative pressure.

This year the ‘IB’ suffered considerable difficulties in finding a printing house that would agree to print the weekly. All printing houses in Kremenchug, in the Poltava, Cherkassy, Dnepropetrovsk oblasts, and some in the Kyiv and Kirovograd oblasts refused to print the newspaper under different pretexts. In recent months the ‘IB’ was printed in a Kyiv printing house ‘Ukrainska kniga’. But on 27 September the all the run consecutive 39th issue disappeared. According to a member of the printing house, the run was driven away by strangers in civil clothes, who introduced themselves as USS officers. There are no volunteers to print the next issue No. 40.

I personally contacted several printing houses in Klharkov, showed the newspaper and asked to take the order. They refused unanimously. Actually, the newspaper is on the brink of closure due to this reason: no printing house, being afraid of the repressions on the side of the power, refuses to print the weekly. The circumstances make the newspaper print without giving the publisher’s data, which is a violation of law. In my opinion, this fact demonstrates well the situation with the freedom of expression in Ukraine.

The Kharkiv Group for human rights protection, regardless of the quality and position of the ‘IB’, decided to print a special issue of the newspaper with the explanation for readers at the account of the project for the freedom of expression, which project was supported by the international fund ‘Vidrodjennia’ (i.e. gratis for the ‘IB’). We shall distribute this issue also among ‘Prava ludyny’ readers to enable them to learn and assess what namely provokes such an anger of the authorities and fear of the printers. It should be noted that the special issue will be distributed gratis too.

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