Дайджест
20 Мая 2014 года

Glasnost defence foundation digest No. 659-660

12 May 2014

STORY OF THE WEEK

Freedom House’s 2014 press freedom survey released

Freedom House released its Freedom of the Press 2014 report on 1 May.

“Global press freedom fell to its lowest level in over a decade,” the survey says. “The decline was driven in part by … marked setbacks in Turkey, Ukraine, and a number of countries in East Africa; and deterioration in the relatively open media environment of the United States.”

Of the 197 countries and territories assessed, 63 were rated “free”, 68 “partly free”, and 66 “not free”.

“We see a global press freedom deterioration driven by governments’ efforts to control news reports and to sanction those who disseminate them,” Karin Karlekar, FH Freedom of the Press project director, said. “In each region of the world last year, we found that both governments and private individuals attacked journalists by blocking their access to important events, censoring news report content, and ordering politically motivated sackings of journalists.”

The best press freedom situation is in Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands. The top ten also includes Finland, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Iceland, Denmark, and Andorra. The world’s ten worst-rated countries are Bahrain, Syria, Iran, Equatorial Guinea, Cuba, Belarus, Eritrea, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and North Korea. Some setbacks were marked in Turkey, Greece, Montenegro, and Britain. Modest improvements were noted in Italy, which remained in the group of countries rated “partly free”.

The United States, while remaining one of the stronger performers in the index, suffered a significant negative shift for 2013, due to several factors. The country showed the most significant press freedom deterioration in the past decade, which Karlekar said was driven, in the first place, by the government’s attempts to control the coverage of national security issues, and by the adverse impact this had on journalists’ ability to protect their sources and to work without fearing prosecution.

Russia is rated 176th in the index. “The media environment in Russia … is characterized by the use of a pliant judiciary to prosecute independent journalists, impunity for the physical harassment and murder of journalists, and continued state control of, or influence over almost all traditional media outlets. In 2013, the Russian government enacted additional legal restrictions on freedom of speech,” the survey says. “…The government of President Vladimir Putin has also begun to use a combination of the law, the courts, and regulatory action to crack down on online media, which some print journalists and bloggers, as well as new radio and television broadcasters, have used to reach audiences interested in alternative and more balanced sources of information.”

As regards other ex-Soviet countries, Estonia (15th), Lithuania (39th) and Latvia (49th) were ranked among the “free” countries; Georgia (93rd) and Moldova (112th) among the “partly free” ones; and Armenia (134th), Ukraine (139th), Kyrgyzstan (147th), Tajikistan (175th), Azerbaijan (183rd), Kazakhstan (187th), Belarus (193rd), Turkmenistan (195th) and Uzbekistan (196th) were rated as countries where the press is “not free”.

For the full text of the Freedom of the Press 2014 survey, see freedomhouse.org

Freedom House is a non-profit organisation supporting pro-democracy change, monitoring freedoms, and promoting democracy and human rights.

 

RUSSIA

Mikhail Afanasyev again acquitted of same offence in Khakassia

By Roman Zholud, GDF correspondent in Central Federal District

A justice of the peace in Abakan, Khakassia, has acquitted journalist Mikhail Afanasyev of the charges of insulting a government official.

Legal proceedings against the Novy Fokus magazine editor were started at the end of 2012 in the wake of his publication “You Are a Liar, Colonel Zlotnikov!” written in response to an appeal by relatives of a young man detained by the Abakan police as a suspect in a murder case. Concerned that law enforcers might try beating out a confession from the detainee, his family asked Afanasyev to write about the case and shoot a video report on the subject. As he started shooting video sequences outside a remand prison, he was pushed several times and then detained by police officers on orders from the police deputy chief, Col. Aleksandr Zlotnikov. The journalist was charged with refusal to obey a police officer’s lawful order. Testifying in court, the colonel also said Afanasyev had pushed two pregnant women under the wheels of a police vehicle. Yet both women, summoned to court as witnesses, denied this. Although the journalist was placed under administrative arrest for three days, the fact of Zlotnikov’s lying to the court was written into a court decision that has entered into full legal force.

After Afanasyev’s article was published, the Investigative Committee, at Zlotnikov’s request, started legal proceedings against the journalist under two Criminal Code articles at once: Article 128.1 (“Libel”) and Article 319 (“Insult to a government official”). In September 2013, Afanasyev was acquitted of both charges, but the prosecution appealed, and the insult case was returned for review to the first-instance court (see http://www.gdf.ru/digest/item/5/1129#ws1).

On 8 May this year, the journalist was acquitted again. “It’s important to note that, although the first acquittal was challenged, we succeeded in getting the journalist acquitted for the second time, although judges typically pass opposite decisions in these kinds of cases,” Galina Arapova, director and senior legal expert of the Voronezh-based Media Defence Centre, commented.

Yet the latest court decision is unlikely to be final: Col. Zlotnikov and the prosecutor’s office may challenge Afanasyev’s acquittal for a third time and will likely do so, the journalist’s defence lawyer Vladimir Dvoryak said.

Police hunt for “extremism” in Kalmykia opposition paper

By Natalia Severskaya, GDF correspondent in Central Federal District

Valery Badmayev, chief editor of the Elista-based newspaper Sovremennaya Kalmykia (SK), has informed the GDF about the developments since the seizure by the police of his newspaper’s print run and his own detention on 14 March (см. digest 636 Rus).

“Police attempted to prosecute me for ‘extremist’ calls allegedly contained in one of that day’s SK publications, and for my allegedly insulting a police officer,” Badmayev wrote. “This is to inform you that investigator Guchinov of the Elista Investigative Department declined to start legal proceedings against me for my supposedly insulting Police Major Ulyumjiyev. Moreover, he established that police officers had themselves breached the RF Code of Criminal Procedure by illegally breaking into a private home.”

“Another investigator, Mr Davayev, responding to my protest against the print run’s confiscation, carried out a check-up that resulted in his refusal to advance criminal charges against the guilty police officers on the grounds that they had already been called to disciplinary responsibility,” Badmayev wrote. Also, he said the investigator showed him expert conclusions by a professional linguist from the Forensic Studies Centre at the republic’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, who had not found any extremist statements in the publication under study.

However, the incident is not yet over, since the Interior Ministry, according to the investigator, has ordered an alternative expert study of the text “somewhere in St. Petersburg”.

“I see police don’t want to acknowledge their blunder and, fearing that I may sue, they keep hunting for ‘extremism’ in my publication,” Badmayev told the GDF. “As I expected, I’m in for continuous and potentially futile struggle against this system.”

The Glasnost Defence Foundation will keep following the developments closely.

Antimonopoly service in Omsk promotes Heroes’ beer?

By Georgy Borodyansky, GDF correspondent in Siberian Federal District

The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has charged several media outlets in Omsk with promoting beer featuring images of heroes of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 on the cans – and this despite the fact that after information about those plans became widely known, stirring up a scandal, the beer producer dropped the idea altogether.

The scandal flared up in late April, when a number of news websites and newspapers reported about a “patriotic” action launched by the beer company SUN InBev, which was producing a collection batch of Sibirskaya Korona beer, “Heroes of the Great War”, scheduled to hit the shop counters early in May, on the eve of Victory Day.

Photos of beer cans featuring portraits of four Soviet soldiers, along with descriptions of their heroic deeds, posted on SUN InBev’s website, caused vigorous protests from the city Council of War Veterans and Retirees, which fact was first reported by the SuperOmsk news portal, and then by the Biznes-Kurs, OmskPress and OmskInform news websites, the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda v Omske, and the OmskRegion news agency, the mouthpiece of the regional administration.

The reports sparked off heated debates in social networks and on chat forums over whether it was acceptable to use images of war heroes (fictitious images, as the beer company later explained: the basic stories were documentary but the proper names were changed) for purposes of promoting alcoholic beverages – and, still worse, to use cans that would not last long. “Just think how war veterans would feel seeing those crushed cans scattered around or dropped in garbage tanks,” many commentators wrote angrily. Other chat forum visitors argued that this was a hypocritical position: waste newspapers can often be seen trampled underfoot or stuck in litter-bins, or, still worse, used in toilets; does this mean the press must not write about the war either?

And how about the “People’s Commissar’s 100g vodka shots” that are still offered by local authorities to war veterans during V-Day celebrations throughout the country? How about Vassily Tyorkin [main character of Aleksandr Tvardovsky’s famous wartime poem about a brave soldier to whom “nothing human was alien”] and other heroes of that war? Actually, it wasn’t beer that helped raise morale in the trenches – it would be more appropriate to talk about vodka or pure alcohol; but then, studying the country’s history with a bottle of hard liquor in hand would be a queer thing to do. For that matter, beer can’t be expected to enlighten young brains either, which from the outset reduces the proclaimed “educational” effect of SUN InBev’s intended action to naught.

Not surprisingly therefore, the company on 28 April announced its decision “to stop the production of the collection beer batch, taking into account the high degree of concern it has caused in society”.

It would seem the incident was settled – but it turned out it was not, and its continuation was quite unexpected. The regional FAS department, which has not so far advanced any claims against the brewers, although it did check the legality of their marketing ideas, announced a few days ago that the media which had covered the scandal had thereby “violated the provisions of the RF Advertising Law”. It notified each of the above-mentioned media outlets about the start of legal proceedings against them “in connection with your unlawful promotion of SUN InBev products on the Omsk market: information about the release of the special batch of Sibirskaya Korona showed all the signs of a promotion campaign that was carried out online, was addressed to an indefinite group of customers, and was aimed to draw their attention to the product being promoted”.

The journalists were bewildered: what is FAS talking about? Wasn’t it due to their publications that the beer company dropped the idea of producing the collection beer batch? Yet they did publish the texts of the antimonopoly department’s strange notices, fearing that if they didn’t, they might face yet another charge – that of “promoting a controversial product that the brewers do not actually plan to produce”…

Many chat forum commentators are wondering if it is not FAS itself that is attempting to promote Sibirskaya Korona and the company it produces by drawing public attention to them in such an odd way. The oversight agency’s warning messages have raised online a wave of public indignation that may have stronger repercussions than the resonance from the reported release of the “patriotic beer batch”, which has almost faded away by now. The popular rock musician Vyacheslav Petkun, leader of the Tantsy-Minus group, has left a comment on the National News Service’s website estimating the FAS initiative at its true worth: “If all this has harmed anyone, it has harmed the FAS blockheads themselves – by further damaging their poor brains,” he wrote.

Court upholds editor’s challenge to prosecutor over “extremist” charge

By Anatoly Tsygankov, GDF correspondent in North-Western Federal District

Yevgeny Belyanchikov, chief editor of the Petrozavodsk-based news web portal TVR-Panorama, has challenged a prosecutor’s office warning about the “extremist” content of reprinted excerpts from social-network correspondence between Ukrainian and Russian citizens. Speaking in court, he argued that publishing people’s subjective judgments – even those suggesting that Russia treats Ukraine in a hostile and aggressive manner – does not constitute a breach of the federal law “On Countering Extremism”.

Belyanchikov also insisted that his opponent, a lady representing the prosecutor’s office, should point to the particular passages which she thought to be “illegal”, and should cite the facts showing that the publication had caused actions (in the form of chat forum comments) proving that its content was indeed extremist (see digest 658).

The lady prosecutor refused to pick out any particular passage, arguing that “the publication as a whole” might provoke readers to post extremist comments. But it did not – no comments were posted at all because the editor had promptly removed the controversial excerpts from the website upon receiving the warning.

The judicial process looked fairly odd, inasmuch as the subject matter of the dispute – the publishing of the excerpts – somehow fell out of the parties’ focus of attention. On the one hand, the office’s representative admitted in court, quite unexpectedly, that the publication showed no signs of extremism, after all; on the other, she said that its general content might provoke an extremist response in the form of comments fanning inter-ethnic strife between Russia and Ukraine. Belyanchikov, for his part, dismissed that possibility altogether, saying that all comments are carefully scanned by the moderator prior to posting on the website.

Having heard both parties, the judge upheld Belyanchikov’s protest, while denying to the prosecutor’s office the right to restrict freedom of expression based only on theorizing about “potentially extremist” consequences.

Presidential representative’s apparatus official in Stavropol at law with journalists

By Yelena Suslova, nominee for Andrei Sakharov Award “For Journalism as an Act of Conscience”, Mineralniye Vody

The protracted litigation between the newspaper Otkrytaya Dlya Vsekh i Kazhdogo and a lady official of the Presidential Representative’s Office (PRO) in the North Caucasian Federal District is by far not over. In the summer of 2012, civic activist Viktor Kruglov, 78, received the following insulting message printed out on an official PRO letterhead:

“Dear Mr Kruglov:

“Analysis of the appeals you have repeatedly sent to the President of the Russian Federation leads us to conclude you may be suffering from a mental disorder. For purposes of checking your condition and, in case such a derangement is confirmed, delivering you the soonest possible medical assistance, we suggest you should immediately turn to the nearest mental clinic to undergo an examination of your mental state and to receive appropriate treatment. Also, we suggest you should report the examination results to the PRO.

“T. Panfilova,

Head of PRO Secretariat”

Otkrytaya published that message next to a portrait of Kruglov, with journalists’ commentary below. Clearly irritated by that commentary, Panfilova decided to punish the newspaper by filing a legal claim in defence of honour and dignity. Though not ordering an expert study of the text to establish the letter’s authorship, the court required Otrkytaya to disclaim as “untrue” the following passage:

“It was from Khloponin’s secretariat that the poor retiree from Mineralniye Vody received this disgustingly dirty message signed by Secretariat Chief Tatyana Panfilova, printed out on an official letterhead, and sealed into an envelope featuring the National Emblem and an outgoing number.”

Although two courts (including a court of appeals), eager to please the high-ranking claimant, neglected the law by passing decisions against an “improper defendant” (while posing in court as the defendant, Otkrytaya cannot be deemed to be such because it has no legal entity status), the journalists did publish a disclaimer as a goodwill gesture, thinking, “If the court believes Kruglov did not receive any message from the PRO, okay, we will do as the court says and disclaim our report. But we will supply our commentary again: here’s Kruglov, and here’s the PRO message he received. How come he didn’t receive it?”

Yet the court dismissed it on the grounds that the text was published under the heading “Facts & Commentaries”, not “Disclaimer” (см. digest 640).

Otkrytaya then published another disclaimer, this time under the heading required by the court. But it once again supplied a photocopy of the insulting message to Kruglov, along with the latter’s portrait, and with the editor’s same commentary: “Here’s the old man, and here’s the message…”

Dissatisfied with the way the bailiffs had performed to get the previous three rulings executed, Panfilova lodged a fourth legal claim, and a fourth judge rushed to pass a decision in her favour in defiance of the established legal norms. Now the newspaper is required to post a disclaimer at the IP address of the web page on which the article was posted back in July 2012, since Panfilova believes supplying an active link to that publication is not enough. Actually, it would be the same if the journalists were required to write the disclaimer by hand on each copy of the newspaper issue featuring the original scandalous article…

Judge Marina Volkovskaya of the Oktyabrsky district court, following in her colleagues’ footsteps while not seeing any difference between “a newspaper’s website” and “the IP address of a web page”, mixed up the two notions only because Panfilova herself had mixed them up: while demanding that the disclaimer be posted on Otkrytaya’s website, she copied into the text of her claim the IP address of the original article’s web page. One is left to wonder how the court ruling can possibly be executed in this case.

 

Traffic police spokeswoman in Krasnodar Region nominated for Roast Canard mock award

By Galina Tashmatova, GDF correspondent in Southern Federal District

The Krasnodar Region independent journalists’ association, Golos Kubani, held a ceremony on 5 May to announce the winner of its Roast Canard mock award annually conferred on the worst-performing government agency spokespersons.

This year’s award, by a unanimous vote of the association board, went to Irina Zavadskaya, senior inspector of the regional traffic police department’s Traffic Safety Propaganda unit – the division in charge of interaction with the media.

Zavadskaya is the fourth laureate of the Roast Canard mock award, which was established in 2009 as a motivator for ill-performing press service heads to improve their performance. The previous prizes went to Yelena Kozyr, former spokeswoman for the Krasnodar Region prosecutor’s office; Irina Kaulko, press secretary of the regional branch of the United Russia party; and Tatyana Kurilenko, press service chief with the Gulkevichi district administration.

The organisers selected the first year’s award winner based on opinion polls among local, regional and federal media reporters for whom staying in touch with Krasnodar Region press services was part of the job. Since then, support for the mock award initiative has spread beyond the journalistic community to embrace prominent public activists, politicians and ordinary regional residents having to regularly request information from different government agencies. Thus Roast Canard has turned from a strictly professional into a public award.

Any press service failing to provide information in line with three major criteria – promptness, accuracy and easy access – risks being nominated for the mock award. The main purpose is to encourage official press services to perform more efficiently while remembering that their top priority is to help people exercise their constitutional right to be informed. This year’s group of finalists included 5 press services: of the Krasnodar Region prosecutor’s office; of the regional Investigative Committee; of the Tuapse district administration; of the OlimpStroi State Olympic Construction Committee; and of the regional traffic police department. A panel of public jurors voted for the latter, explaining their choice as follows:

“The situation on the roads of the Kuban River Area has been getting worse from year to year. Last year saw many high-resonance traffic accidents that hit the headlines in many regional and federal media. Naturally, the growth in the number of accidents caused media reporters to turn for information to officials of the Traffic Safety Propaganda unit of the regional traffic police department more often. According to journalists, difficulties in getting information occurred not only because of the staffing policy mess that resulted in several unit heads replacing one another over a short time. Interaction with the media last year was reduced to purely formal – often belated – replies to reporters’ written inquiries. As a result, many journalists got a feeling that the traffic police department’s propaganda unit was doing everything to discourage them from requesting information again, ever.”

“By conferring the mock award, we are assessing the performance not only of a press service head but also of the management of the government agency the ‘winner’ represents,” the jury said summing up the results. “The degree of a chief spokesperson’s openness is a measure of the openness and accessibility of the press service he/she is in charge of.”

“We have decided that, starting next year, the mock award winner’s name will feature next to the name of the relevant agency’s head,” the jury said.

The bird’s statuette is designed and moulded by regional sculptors in a single original every year. The mock contest will continue until government agency press services start performing well enough for Roast Canard to remain unclaimed.

 

GLASNOST DEFENCE FOUNDATION

Media-related conflicts registered by GDF Monitoring Service on RF territory in April 2014

Attacks on journalists – 3 (Andrei Kazantsev, videographer, E1.ru web portal, Yekaterinburg; Veronica Svizeva, reporter, web news portal 59.ru, Perm; film crew with Nizhnekamsk TV/Radio Company, Republic of Tatarstan)

Attacks on media offices and radio/TV stations – 1 (Radio Komanda, Moscow)

Instances of censorship – 1 (website of newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, Ivanovo)

Criminal charges against journalists and media – 2 (Pavel Nikolayev, chief editor, newspaper Antikorruptsionnyi Front, Pskov; Andrei Sergeyev, freelance journalist, Novosibirsk)

Illegal sacking of journalist or editor – 3 (Igor Barinov and Yevgeniya Karaseva, editors, Omskaya Pravda media holding, Omsk; Vladimir Afanasenko, chief editor, Olkhovskiye Vesti newspaper, Volgograd Region)

Detention by police, FSB, etc. – 2 (Oleg Krishtopa, reporter, and Orest Pona, cameraman, with Ukraine’s Channel 5, both detained in Bryansk Region; Idris Yusupov, correspondent, Novoye Delo newspaper, Makhachkala)

Refusals to provide information (including bans on use of audio recorders and video/photo cameras; refusals to provide accreditation; restrictions on admittance to official events held by government bodies, industrial enterprises or state institutions) – 21

Threats against journalists and media – 1 (film crew with Nizhnekamsk TV/Radio Company, Republic of Tatarstan)

Disruption of radio/TV broadcasts – 2 (The Voice of America, Moscow; TV-2 television company, Tomsk)

Withdrawal, purchase or arrest of print run – 1 (Metro newspaper, Novosibirsk)

Interference with internet publications – 6 (Interfax news agency, Moscow; website of Kopeiskiy Rabochiy newspaper, Chelyabinsk Region; news website Regiony Rossii, Moscow; website of Parlamentskaya Gazeta newspaper, Moscow; website of Russia Today, Moscow; news website Zaraiskiy Partizan, Moscow Region)

Confiscation of/ damage to photo, video or audio apparatus and computers – 4 (camera of videographer for news portal E1.ru, Yekaterinburg; camera of videographer for UralInform news portal, Perm; camera of Nizhnekamsk TV/Radio Company, Republic of Tatarstan; camera of Kazan TV/Radio Company, Republic of Tatarstan)

Other forms of pressure/ infringement of journalists’ rights – 22

 

OUR CONTRIBUTORS

World Press Freedom Day: Someone else’s holiday?

By Yuri Vdovin, Civic Control Group, St. Petersburg

The U.N. General Assembly in 1993 declared 3 May to be World Press Freedom Day. Two years prior to that, the 1991 UNESCO General Conference adopted its resolution on “Promotion of Press Freedom in the World”, recognizing that a free, pluralistic and independent press was an essential component of any democratic society. The end of last century was a time of humanity’s romantic hopes for the triumph of democracy and common sense, and for victories over many evils that had plagued it for centuries.

And just a few days ago, an international conference was held at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day. The main event was entitled, “Media Freedom for a Better Future: Shaping the Post-2015 Development Agenda”. Topics for discussion included issues that are of major concern for the world community at our difficult time, among them “The Media’s Role in Development”, “Journalist Security and Rule of Law”, and “Journalism’s Consistency and Professionalism”.

The press freedom situation around the world is far from encouraging. A total of 71 journalists were killed worldwide last year; 826 were arrested; and more than 2,000 were threatened with or subjected to physical violence. In the Press Freedom Index annually released by Reporters without Borders (RSF), the three bottom lines are occupied by Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea, where, RSF says, there is no press freedom as such. Russia ranks 148th, quite close to the “worst of the worst”.

As it happens, World Press Freedom Day is anyone’s holiday but Russia’s. As usual, it passed in this country quietly and inconspicuously this year. Though, the newspaper Vedomosti reported on 5 May that President Vladimir Putin had signed Decree No. 269 conferring orders and medals on a fairly large group of Russian media workers “for honest coverage of the developments in Crimea”. This was done quietly, too: the president’s official website features Decrees Nos. 268 and 270, but No. 269 is missing. Such secrecy usually accompanies the honouring of “heroes of the invisible front”, i.e., intelligence officers. According to Vedomosti, “about a hundred orders and medals went to representatives of VGTRK (All-Russia State Television and Radio Company); more than 60 – to Channel One employees; several dozen – to each of the television channels NTV, Russia Today and Life News”; and none to representatives of the independent TV channel Dozhd or the critical radio station Ekho Moskvy.

Ever since Lenin’s Decree on the Press, the media in this country have always remained under stringent government control, except during a brief period at the turn of the 1980s and 1990s. Whether under communists or quasi democrats, public opinion in this country has always been shaped to meet the corporate interests of those at the helm, who have been ready to go as far as it takes to stay in power. Servile media have given them effective support in their shameful power-clutching efforts.

The Russian media and the journalistic community as a whole fail to realise the people’s right to be informed, do not contribute to the shaping of public consciousness, and do not create prerequisites for the people to make their conscious choices based on comprehensive information. This is a real disaster for this country, and the responsibility for it rests with the media community representatives who have eagerly and actively offered their services to the ruling elite, to be rewarded for their faithful service in as unprecedented a manner as the president recently did. This will lead Russia into a deadlock; we have seen similar practices in the past, when Soviet journalists enthusiastically served the communist party rulers. The results are known: the Soviet empire collapsed, and the same is bound to happen to Russia unless the press gives up its subservient attitudes and the authorities – at long last! – sit down to think about what society really needs.

I will refrain from optimistic forecasts: a country with no media-carried feedback between power and the people is doomed.

…Meanwhile, World Press Freedom Day passed by, virtually unnoticed in Russia. Where there’s no free press, journalists have nothing to rejoice at.

 

NEWS FROM PARTNERS

Regional Press Institute and GDF jointly hold public opinion poll

More than 300 Russian media workers on 22 April received government awards “for highly professional and objective coverage of events in the Republic of Crimea”. A decree to that effect was signed by President Putin, although its text was not published for some unclear reasons and has become known only due to the insistence of reporters for the newspaper Vedomosti.

The Glasnost Defence Foundation and the St. Petersburg-based Regional Press Institute invite colleagues to express their attitude to this situation by answering the four questions below; any comments and opinions would be welcome, too. We plan to publish the poll’s results, so if you wish to remain anonymous, please state this in a note.

1. How do you assess this giving of awards for news coverage to a number of media workers that is unprecedented in the history of Russia’s statehood?

2. Do you consider the head of Roskomnadzor [federal service overseeing the sphere of public communications], who happened to be among the awardees, to be a member of the journalistic community?

3. How would you personally behave if you found your name on a similar list of award-winners?

4. Do you think a journalist has the moral right to accept government awards for his/her professional work? Please explain your viewpoint.

Your answers are to be e-mailed to: asharogr@yandex.ru.

 

This digest was prepared by the Glasnost Defence Foundation in Moscow. The digest has been issued once a week, on Mondays, since August 11, 2000.

We acknowledge the assistance of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee.

Currently it is distributed by e-mail to 1,600 subscribers in and outside Russia.

Editorial board

  • Editor-in-chief, Alexei Simonov
  • Boris Timoshenko, Head of Monitring Service;
  • Svetlana Zemskova, GDF Lawyer;
  • Vsevolod Shelkhovskoy, translator.

We welcome the promotion of our news items and articles but if you make use of any information from this digest or other GDF materials please acknowledge the source.

Contacts:

Glasnost Defence Foundation, Room 438, 4 Zubovsky Boulevard,
119992 Moscow, Russia.

Telephone/fax: +7 (495) 637-4947 and +7 (495) 637-4420
e-mail: boris@gdf.ru , or fond@gdf.ru

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Архив
ФЗГ продолжает бороться за свое честное имя. Пройдя все необходимые инстанции отечественного правосудия, Фонд обратился в Европейский суд. Для обращения понадобилось вкратце оценить все, что Фонд сделал за 25 лет своего существования. Вот что у нас получилось:
Полезная деятельность Фонда защиты гласности за 25 лет его жизни