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Luhansk journalist sacked for bad news

13.03.2011    source:

The human rights organization Postup [Progress] quotes a civil activist’s blog in reporting that the local correspondent of the TV channel Inter, Ruslan Myshchenko has been dismissed for giving a truthful report about shortages of bread in Sverdlovsk. After the report was broadcast, the Deputy Governor of the Luhansk region, Rodion Myroshnyk phoned the channel and in bluntly demanded that a retraction be issued.

Ruslan Myshchenko says that he was told by management to retract his own report and state that there are no shortages. He refused to lie.  There is only one possible punishment – dismissal.

Postup in its turn confirms that there is a serious shortage of bread seen throughout last week. A resident of Sverdlovsk, Natalya Krasylnykova told them that the queues for bread are forming from 3 a.m., and that the price of baked goods had risen considerably.

The Postup Press Secretary, Yaroslav Mynkyn comments: “We are appalled by the cynicism of local officials. Instead of resolving the region’s problems, they are trying to shut people up. We would note that this is not the first occasion when a journalist has been dismissed for publishing information inconvenient to the local authorities. Just last week journalist Olena Dovchenko was dismissed for her article about violence against children in the Torez Orphanage.  These and other facts clearly demonstrate the authorities’ attitude to freedom of speech and human rights”.

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