Дайджест
16 Сентября 2010 года

GLASNOST DEFENSE FOUNDATION DIGEST No. 490

TOPIC OF THE WEEK
September 8 – International Journalist Solidarity Day

RUSSIA
1. Sverdlovsk Region. Solidarity support worked!
2. Moscow. Health Ministry imposes censorship?
3. Republic of Karelia. Youth newspaper on verge of survival
4. Maritime Region. Newspaper Nakhodkinsky Rabochiy replaces editor
5. Arkhangelsk Region. Opposition newspaper editor arrested
6. Omsk. News agency denied registration through RosKomNadzor fault

GLASNOST DEFENSE FOUNDATION
Some statistics cited

OUR PUBLICATIONS
Is journalistic community really ready for self-regulation?

OUR PARTNERS
1. 2010 Andrei Sakharov Competition “Journalism as an Act of Conscience” continues
2. Statement by RF Journalists’ Union dedicated to International Journalist Solidarity Day

ANNOUNCEMENT
ARTICLE 19/IMS conference announced

DIGEST MAIL
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TOPIC OF THE WEEK

September 8 – International Journalist Solidarity Day

By Tamara Makarova,
Republic of Komi

Journalists the world over marked that day by demonstrating solidarity in defending their professional rights. Yuri Bashmet’s symphony orchestra played a charity concert to a packed house at Moscow’s Hall of Columns.

As far as the Komi Republic is concerned, when the newspaper Zarya Timana (ZT) found itself in trouble, seized by one of its co-founders (the district administration), its staffers were sad to find professional solidarity lacking: only one print media outlet in the entire republic, the newspaper Krasnoye Znamya, wrote about that conflict (thanks Valery Chernitsyn and Boris Suranov!) In the Internet, the website “7Х7” (Igor Bobrakov, Leonid Zilberg, Vladimir Grigoryan) expressed sympathy, and the Glasnost Defense Foundation (Alexei Simonov and Boris Timoshenko) extended a helping hand from Moscow.

Meanwhile, the republican Journalists’ Union has kept meaningful silence, although the ZT journalists only insisted that no one would meddle, as required under the law, in the editorial policy of a newspaper financed with its readers’ money.

The conflict around Zarya Timana stirred up local political groups, galvanizing into action the Fair Russia Party and the Communists who came out in support of the sacked ZT staff. We also had phone calls from ordinary readers expressing their support. And when three new ZT editions were printed in 999 copies each – Zarya Timana Plus 1, Zarya Timana Plus 2 and Zarya Timana Plus 3 – the entire print run was sold out in less than one day, people sharing their newspaper issues with colleagues, neighbors and relatives. That signaled a breakout from the locally imposed information blockade! Copies of Zarya Timana Plus even managed to reach the most remote villages in the district, where they had never been sent.

The ZT that we lost has turned into a PR publication, featuring reports about festivals, concerts, visits, sports competitions, etc. Most photo pictures feature the flag and other symbols of the ruling United Russia Party. Even first-graders outside a school are shown holding little flags with the URP bear emblem. One issue dedicates a whole three stories to the district administration head – a clear instance of reporters’ excessive zeal and eagerness to please.

As regards the most important element of the newspaper’s content, i.e. critical stuff, the seized ZT only has two targets for criticism – its previous editor and the railway administration (Nikolai Deinega, head of the Sosnogorsky branch of Northern Railways Co. and chairman of the district Council, is being censured for his resistance to the council’s early re-election: he lodged a legal claim that disrupted local political strategists’ plans to have the council re-elected this autumn).

Many readers have said they do not need ZT in its current form; unless the newspaper changes, they will simply stop subscribing to it. Unfortunately, we cannot help them in any way.

Meanwhile, we have repeatedly called the prosecutor’s office, police and Investigative Committee – but all in vain. Our protests against the dismissal of former ZT editor S. Volkovinsky and his replacement by ex-sales manager I. Vedoinik have so far remained unanswered. Also, we are preparing appeals for the reinstatement of other ZT staffers. We very much appreciate the valuable advice offered us by the website “7Х7”, and the lawyers Lyudmila Martynova from Pechora and Willie Taller from Ukhta.
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RUSSIA

1. Sverdlovsk Region. Solidarity support worked!

By Vladimir Golubev,
GDF staff correspondent in Urals Federal District

The scandal over a hacker attack on the Ura.ru news agency’s website has spilled over beyond the Sverdlovsk Region. Many federal media expressed their indignation on the eve of International Journalist Solidarity Day.

The Ura.ru reporters see the growing administrative pressure as a reaction to their rejection of amendments to the Charter of Yekaterinburg and the proposed canceling of direct mayoral elections. The amendments have been lobbied by the regional administration and the governor’s chief of staff Vyacheslav Lashmankin. The news agency, for its part, has consistently worked to defend the mayoral election system and urged people to attend public hearings September 17 to make sure the city Charter is left intact.

The massive DoS attack on the website was launched at about 9 p.m. September 6, but the site’s operation was fully restored towards the following morning. At 2 p.m. September 7, two independent web service providers, Convex and INSIS, switched off simultaneously at Ura.ru citing some technical problems – although computers in neighboring offices remained web-connected. That was followed by a phone call from the managing company Territoriya saying the news agency would be disconnected from power supply for alleged default on energy payments – and this despite the accounting office’s files containing the documents proving all the bills had been duly paid.

“We are absolutely sure the gubernatorial administration was behind that attack,” Ura.ru’s Dmitry Kolezev said. “Over the previous few weeks, editor Aksana Panova had repeatedly received telephone threats as well as recommendations on reviewing editorial policy as regards coverage of Governor Misharin’s activities and on starting to support the idea of canceling direct mayoral elections. Otherwise, they hinted, the news agency might find itself faced with various, including technical, problems. The administration officials who attempted to conduct those phone talks repeatedly used phrases like ‘Think of your children’ and ‘Look out when walking the street’.”

After the journalists appealed to the media community for support, a wave of information exchanges rose in the web blogs, with a hundred PC users copying to their LiveJournal pages the reports about developments in the Ura.ru office. Links to those reports were posted on Twitter, too. Finally, one of the microblog’s most influential users, President Medvedev’s aide Arkady Dvorkovich, left the twit “I’ll check it” in response to a report about the incident in Yekaterinburg.

The Secretariat of the regional branch of the RF Journalists’ Union held an extraordinary meeting at Ura.ru September 8 to discuss the reported infringements of journalists’ rights. The meeting was attended by Mikhail Maksimov, acting chief of staff of the governor’s administration appointed instead of Lashmankin who had urgently left on a holiday tour. It is due to Maksimov’s reputed friendliness towards the press that he was sent to “scale tensions down”. “As long as I am acting chief of staff, I guarantee full openness and unhindered access to information,” he promised. “Many are thinking the pattern of government-media relations up until now has been unsatisfactory and altogether wrong.”

“A good beginning,” regional Journalists’ Union head Dmitry Polyanin commented. “But the very agenda of the Secretariat meeting sounds alarming – ‘On interference with journalists’ professional activities’. That is why we are suggesting Ura.ru should sue the persons who threatened the journalists and insisted on their changing their stand.” The regional union, too, would urge the law enforcers to thoroughly investigate the Ura.ru incident, he said. “They will have to react by talking to people anyway. Even if they fail to identify those guilty, it will be a kind of ‘vaccination’ that will cause them to think twice before starting to behave that way again next time,” Polyanin explained.

Journalists have called on Governor Alexander Misharin to clarify his stand on the media freedom problem, considering that no administrative pressure was known to be exerted on the media during the previous 15-20 years.

Ura.ru became known nationwide after government officials attempted to close the news agency for letting its readers post “extremist” comments on its chat forum. But those attempts were thwarted due to professional solidarity expressions by fellow journalists and the decisions taken by a plenary meeting of the RF Supreme Court.


2. Moscow. Health Ministry imposes censorship?

By Natalia Severskaya,
GDF staff correspondent in Central Federal District

After the weekly Argumenty Nedeli (AN) posted on its website September 2 a story titled “An Aero Limousine for an Individual Money-Grubber”, criticizing the Health and Social Development Ministry and its head Tatyana Golikova, several phone calls from the ministry’s press service followed immediately, urging the editor to remove the story from the website. “They promised to send in an explanatory letter, so the editor met their request and removed the story,” AN staffers told the GDF correspondent. “But no message came from Golikova’s ministry either that or the following day. In the afternoon September 3 the critical article was posted back – only to trigger yet another protest call from one of the health minister’s deputies who promised explanations would arrive on Monday, September 6. But you should see comments on the website under the note ‘The story has been removed at the Health and Social Development Ministry’s request pending a letter of explanation’. Appalled by the article’s editing out, readers are wondering why – the ministry is a government agency, after all, not a private establishment!”

No explanations had come from the Health Ministry by 6 p.m. September 6. It looks like the ministry is determined to take on a hitherto alien function and start practising censorship.

For the readers’ comments, see http://www.argumenti.ru/toptheme/n253/74655/ .

For the full text of the original publication, see http://winoblog.livejournal.com/16709.html .


3. Republic of Karelia. Youth newspaper on verge of survival

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

Until recently, the newspaper Molodyozhnaya Gazeta Karelii (MGK) had no problems whatsoever, considering the high status of its founder, the Kondopoga pulp-and-paper factory.

But after the latter’s general director was replaced, the new management started to close one non-core business after another, and MGK found itself among those affected. The reasons are clear: the factory’s profit fell during the crisis, and social infrastructure facilities like gyms, culture centers with organ halls, etc., as well as charity projects like the maintenance of a youth newspaper, became burdensome.

Since July 2009, MGK has been in recession with rather vague prospects of staying afloat. The number of its pages reduced from 32 to 28, then to 16, and further to 8 starting next January. The factory management has warned the journalists they must either earn half of the maintenance amount independently or look for alternative sponsors.

MGK being Karelia’s sole periodical having younger people and teenagers as its target audience, its editor has sought understanding in the corridors of republican power, but with the budget deficit as bad as it is today, he has found little more than compassionate handshakes and wishes of success in his creative work.

Today, the newspaper is heavily in default on payments for printing services and horrified by the number of its readers melting away: page cuts have resulted in nearly half of the print run returned by the retail traders, and in subscription decreasing drastically. To make things still worse, ever more young readers have been making their choice in favor of the Internet.


4. Maritime Region. Newspaper Nakhodkinsky Rabochiy replaces editor

By Anna Seleznyova,
GDF staff correspondent in Far Eastern Federal District

Having worked for 23 years as editor of Nakhodkinsky Rabochiy (NR), Anatoly Tabachkov tendered his resignation just 18 months before official retirement on pension. He says he quit voluntarily but adds, “I left because I’ve always worked honestly and rejected all sorts of restrictions as unacceptable. I can’t say our newspaper was perfect, but I used to be my own master, always. With the current management, there will be nothing to read – everything [of interest to the reader] will be banned.”

They say the editor was replaced because the Nakhodka administration, the newspaper’s co-founder alongside its staff, was dissatisfied with NR’s occasional critical publications, e.g. about dusty roads. Naturally, the city administration has leverage, including financial, to make its say heard. When the NR staff found themselves facing the prospect of unpaid or cut-down wages, they were compelled to choose: either to stay with their editor at the risk of causing the city authorities to frown, or “elect” a new leader, Natalya Votchal, the former deputy editor-in-chief.

Tabachkov resigned of his own free will, and the journalists voted for the new editor. This mode of editorial reshuffle, consistent with the charter requirement that the editor must be elected by the staff, was first tested two years ago by the new owner of the newspaper Vladivostok, although journalists at the time wrote collective appeals describing the city administration’s actions as unlawful. In Nakhodka, everything went smoothly – Anatoly Tabachkov stepped down because “that was in the staffers’ interest”. But his colleagues failed to duly appreciate his move: ever since he left, they have never even called their former boss on the phone…


5. Arkhangelsk Region. Opposition newspaper editor arrested

The Glasnost Defense Foundation has received a Vazhsky Krai Interregional Democratic Movement Coordinating Council statement which we are publishing in a slightly abridged form:

“After the release of the second issue of the newspaper Golos Shenkurska recently founded by the district branch of the Vazhsky Krai interregional democratic movement, a legal claim was filed against editor Andrei Lebedev by L. V. Ulyanovsky, an officer at the State Inspectorate for Small-Size Vessels, who found his honor and dignity damaged by Yuri Davydov’s article ‘Syumskoye Zavazhye: Surviving, Rather than Living’. The story said, among other things, that Ulyanovsky had been picking on women pensioners cut off from the mainland by the Vaga River for their failure (due to lack of money) to meet in full the official requirements concerning boat equipment. The plaintiff demanded RUR 500,000 in moral damage compensation.

“That was not for the first time that Shenkursk officials attempted to put pressure on the local opposition by involving law enforcement and judiciary authorities. Earlier, district head Vassily Minin had repeatedly threatened Lebedev and the editor of another opposition newspaper, Vazhsky Krai–Novy Region, with the institution of legal proceedings against them. Psychological pressure had been exerted on other staffers of the Shenkursk office of Vazhsky Krai too, exposing them to business problems and summons to the law enforcement and supervisory bodies for questioning on various fabricated pretexts.

“Court hearings of the Lebedev case were scheduled to open September 15, but the editor suddenly vanished without a trace. His did not appear at home and his telephone was silent for several days. Finally, September 6, he was found at a detention center where he had been placed by a justice of the peace for seven days of administrative arrest for failure to pay a small administrative fine (sic!).

“As it turned out later, at the moment of his arrest Lebedev had asked a colleague from the official local newspaper to report the incident to his friends, which the man never did. The arrest was ordered by a retired police officer (with a 13-year record of service) turned justice of the peace in 2004. Evidently, the inordinately harsh sentence marked the Shenkursk authorities’ reaction to the emergence in the district of an opposition media outlet and their attempt to disrupt the September 15 court hearings.

“The Coordinating Council […] hereby expresses its resolute protest against Andrei Lebedev’s arrest and sees this administrative measure as an instance of unmotivated cruelty and authorities’ attempt to revenge themselves on Lebedev for his editing an opposition newspaper.

“We demand our colleague’s immediate release from detention and his subjection to a more adequate administrative sanction.”


On Monday, September 13, Tamara Ovchinnikova, the GDF correspondent in the North-Western Federal District, reported that A. Lebedev had been released September 9. According to him, the fire marshal had sentenced him shortly before to a fine of RUR 300 (USD 10) for not equipping his house with a fire alarm. His failure to duly pay the fine resulted in the seven days of administrative arrest – although the fine had already been paid by the date when the sentence was being passed.


6. Omsk. News agency denied registration through RosKomNadzor fault

RosKomNadzor [RKN, federal agency supervising public communications] has erroneously denied registration to an independent news agency, Kasparov.ru reported.

Earlier this month, the founders of the news agency Patriofil received an RKN refusal to register the agency because of alleged “mistakes in the filled-out application form” – but actually, according to editor-in-chief Viktor Korb, because of the inspectors’ own negligence resulting in their failure to notice an existing entry.

The RKN cover letter signed by Maxim Ksenzov, head of the Media Authorization Department, said the application was being returned because of the agency’s failing to specify the area where its information would be distributed. Yet the officials themselves failed to notice the abbreviation “RF” (the Russian Federation) entered in the relevant box.

All the formalities had been observed, including the filing of an application via the agency’s official website, the payment of the fee, and the enclosure of hard copies of the required documents. When accepting those documents, the RKN clerks punched them through before clipping them together into a file. As a result, the “RF” entry in the hard copy of the application (which is present in its electronic version) happened to be partially covered by the fastening clip, Kasparov.ru said.

Editor V. Korb expressed regret over “this negligent attitude to work” but said he still hoped “that common sense will prevail and that the clerks are ready to promptly rectify their mistake”. He sent the relevant message to the head of RosKomNadzor.

“Although the incident looks pretty ridiculous,” V. Korb told the Glasnost Defense Foundation, “it deserves close public attention inasmuch as it reflects a very dangerous trend – officials tend to act in defiance of the law and of elementary norms of communication with citizens. In the process, they bear actually no liability for their negligence.”
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GLASNOST DEFENSE FOUNDATION

Some statistics cited

Last week, the Glasnost Defense Foundation was referred to at least 10 times in the Internet, including at:

http://info.ifex.org/View.aspx?id=223391&q=234467147&qz=b0761d
http://www.yabloko.ru/news/2010/09/06_1
http://grani.ru/Internet/m.181468.html
http://www.lenizdat.ru/a0/ru/pm1/c-1092928-0.html
http://7x7-journal.ru/newsline/?itemid=de660f1fec6d8dbaa4b799b4127ef503
http://chelindustry.ru/info.php?tt=25&ids=28&rr=5
http://uraldaily.ru/obshchestvo/2968.html
http://www.novayagazeta.ru/data/2010/101/05.html
http://komikz.ru/news/society/?id=419
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OUR PUBLICATIONS

Is journalistic community really ready for self-regulation?

By Vassily Moseyev,
member of Grand Jury of Perm branch of RF Journalists’ Union

The Grand Jury of the Perm branch of the RF Journalists’ Union has received a message from journalist Vadim Biserov who complained about the television company UralInform-TV’s repeated use of photo pictures from his website without the author’s consent and in defiance of the copyright note marking the photos. Judging by the tonality of his message, Biserov was appalled not so much by the very fact of unauthorized publication of his photo pictures as by the company management’s haughty and demonstrative silence in response to his protests. The few reply notes they did send him were purely formal and failed at least to acknowledge his authorship.

Indeed, instances of unauthorized reprinting of photo pictures or excerpts from, or even entire publications without their authors’ consent have been growing ever more frequent. In the vast majority of cases, those guilty have managed to get away with it. Over the past three years, only two trials have been held in the Perm Region in connection with photo materials reprinted with copyright violations. Not a single person has been held liable for textual plagiarism, although proven facts thereof abound.

Here is one example. In June 2010, the Grand Jury in Perm discussed a protest by the local Drug Control Department in connection with a publication in the regional newspaper Zvezda, and found the article ethically impeccable, of which the Jury duly informed the complaining party. But shortly afterwards, another – fairly professional – newspaper reprinted a whole number of passages from the Zvezda story without reference to the source. Asked if he would sue the guilty newspaper for plagiarism, the Zvezda author shook his head pessimistically: “A sheer waste of time…”

The trend is very alarming. Go ahead, use others’ texts or photos in your publications – no one is likely to notice it! Even if one does, you may as well ignore whatever protests may follow, or keep insisting you didn’t know the source. By complaining to the Grand Jury, Vadim Biserov actually sent a message to the entire media community: any breach of copyright must be punishable. “A journalist shall respect, and demand respect for, the rights of authorship in any area of creative activities. Plagiarism shall be unacceptable. By using a colleague’s work in some way or other, a journalist shall make reference to the author,” says the Perm Region Journalists’ Code of Ethics adopted a few years ago. Do many remember its provisions?

…Having heard both parties, watched the video recordings and looked through the website, the Grand Jury passed a decision saying that the conflict had flared up over the copyright violations committed by UralInform-TV. The Jury recommended that the TV company management apologize to journalist V. Biserov and try to settle the conflict amicably. It drew other media managers’ attention to the need to stringently observe the copyright law provisions, including those related to the use of photo pictures and texts posted in the Internet.

The Jury decision will be communicated to all the Perm Region media. But will they pay heed? Haven’t we refrained from dealing with specific problems of professional self-regulation for too many years, and haven’t we unlearned to hear and respect one another?
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OUR PARTNERS

1. 2010 Andrei Sakharov Competition “Journalism as an Act of Conscience” continues

The Jury continues accepting works submitted for the 2010 Andrei Sakharov Competition “Journalism as an Act of Conscience”. The submission deadline is November 1.

The Andrei Sakharov Award “For Journalism as an Act of Conscience” is conferred on Russian journalists for publications reflecting the authors’ active life stands consistently translated into their highly professional work, and for defending the values which Dr. Andrei D. Sakharov used to defend during his lifetime.

The materials submitted for the competition should have been published between October 15, 2009 and October 15, 2010 in Russian newspapers, magazines or almanacs, or posted on web portals registered as media outlets. Candidates for the award may be nominated by both editorial boards and individual Russian citizens.

All materials must be submitted in print or electronic format (on diskettes or CDs, or as e-mail messages sent to fond@gdf.ru or boris@gdf.ru). Print versions shall be mailed to: Glasnost Defense Foundation, 4, Zubovsky Boulevard, Office 432, 119992, Moscow, Russia, with a note: “Andrei Sakharov Competition ‘Journalism as an Act of Conscience’”.

For further details about the contest, please see http://www.gdf.ru/lenta/item/1/699

Contact phone: (+7 495) 637 4947.
________________


2. Statement by RF Journalists’ Union dedicated to International Journalist Solidarity Day

Dear friends,

As journalists around the world are marking International Solidarity Day, we have assembled here to say once again: we are together, shoulder to shoulder, despite our different political convictions, different assessments of domestic and international events, and differences stemming from our work for rival newspapers, radio stations and TV channels. We have come here to pay tribute to our friends and colleagues who died fulfilling their professional duty, who gave their lives for the sake of notions that some may find trifling and ephemeral – freedom of expression and everyone’s right to know the truth.

We have lost over 300 colleagues in the new Russia over the past two decades. This is an unforgivably large number. Journalists died in warfare and in terrorist acts, in “hot spots” and elsewhere, they were killed near their own houses and in their own offices. A journalist’s life is as precious as that of any other human – a physician, a policeman, a judge, a businessman, a teacher or a politician. But it is not accidental that a journalist’s murder is deemed the world over to be an unmistakable signal of attempts being made to gag and earplug society, turn it into a non-thinking mob, intimidate the people and bring them to their knees.

Only honest, courageous and authoritative journalism is capable of restoring people’s trust of public institutions. Without such trust, we would never be able to build a country in which we all would hope and like to live. 

But as long as reporters are killed and their killers are not sought or brought to justice, journalism will find it difficult to be honest or courageous, the less so authoritative.

That is self-evident. And that is why we are here – to show once again that we remember, we mourn our dead, and we are unwilling to forgive.

The sad list of the victims includes world celebrities and journalists only known locally. But without them, Russian journalism has become totally different from what it might otherwise be. We cannot say only the best of the best were killed – but we can state with all certainty that our journalism would have been better if they had stayed to live.

We miss all of them – each and every one – badly.

Those who murdered our colleagues were hoping to make others more cowardly and cautious. They have achieved much, to tell the truth. But it is up to us to prove the ultimate victory will not be theirs.

That will take society to fully realize the threats it faces and accumulate enough strength to ward those threats off.

That is why we are so grateful to the brilliant musicians who invited us to attend this charity concert in memory of our friends, comrades and colleagues. We very much appreciate your being with us today.

Let us stand up in a minute of silence and repeat once again to ourselves: we remember, we mourn, and we will not forgive.

Let us recall their names – Dmitry, Vlad, Larissa, Yuri, Anna, Gadzhi… - more than three hundred all in all…

[RF Journalists’ Union Secretariat, September 8, 2010]
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ANNOUNCEMENT

ARTICLE 19/IMS conference announced

ARTICLE 19 and International Media Support (IMS) are announcing a conference “Ten Years After: Georgy Gongadze’s Murder Still Unsolved; Search for New Ways of Combating Impunity”. Held on the 10th anniversary of G. Gongadze’s disappearance, the conference will also pay tribute to the Ukrainian, Belarussian and Russian journalists killed in connection with their professional activities.

The conference will focus on ways of protecting journalists; denounce the use of violence as a way to control the media; and censure authorities for inaction paralyzing the media sector’s performance. Attending the event will be international organizations, media representatives and civil society activists.

The conference is to be held 9:30 to 17:00 September 16 at Kiev’s Express Hotel (38/40, Shevchenko Blvd., 4th floor).

Impunity has been and remains a serious problem for human rights defenders. Those who ordered Georgy Gongadze’s killing, as well as the assassination of Anna Politkovskaya and disappearance of Dmitry Zavadsky, have never been brought to justice. The conference organizers think it essential to draw public attention to unsolved murders and disappearances of reporters again and again, and develop more effective mechanisms to cope with impunity.

The conference will be held as part of the IMS Program “Media & Democracy” for Central and Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. Reports will be delivered by Roland Bless, head of OSCE Media Freedom Office; John Crowfoot of the International Federation of Journalists; Friderike Behr of Amnesty International; Ricardo Gonzales of ARTICLE 19 (Mexico); Garry Pogonyailo, representative of Svetlana Zavadskaya; and Valentina Telichenko, lawyer for Miroslava Gongadze.

For further details and for interviews with rapporteurs, please contact Yulia Volkhonovich at: yuliya@article19.org , or call +380 67 9632080.
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DIGEST MAIL

“Dear Mr. Simonov:

“I wouldn’t like to play the role of a person trying to make excuses; nor would you be happy, I believe, to see a colleague suffering indignity (for background information, see http://www.gdf.ru/digest/item/1/758#rus4 ).

“As regards the subject matter of the questions you asked, I have to say the following. I wonder if Irina Gundareva has forgotten all about herself suing the GazetaChel.ru website and its editor Valery Alyoshkin when they failed to pay her for the work done. Has she forgotten about an open letter on the subject published by the Journalists’ Union in her own newspaper, Chelyabinsky Rabochiy? Doesn’t she remember me paying a visit to the police to urge them to treat the detained GazetaChel reporters decently? Has she forgotten all about my meeting Alyoshkin in the presence of Union Board members Yurin and Stroganova, or my writing appeals to the Legislative Assembly, or my asking Irina personally to invite me to attend court hearings of her case? If she no longer remembers all that, she may as well click a web browser button to see a dozen links to the relevant websites, among them to our Union’s website Uj74.ru.

“As far as Yevdokimov’s boorishness is concerned, I did not attend that news conference personally nor read any complaints by fellow journalists either to the Union or the Grand Jury. I only learned about it from a publication posted on UralDaily.ru – a website I don’t trust at all. But I did attend the new governor’s inauguration and saw the gallery fully packed by media reporters. The only restriction concerned the number of media representatives and the number of photo and TV cameras moving around the conference room, which, however, had nothing to do with restrictions on access to information – it had more to do with the size of the room and, possibly, with security requirements. Anyway, all those who wanted did publish their stories later, or showed their photo and TV reports (no one had prohibited the use of cameras during the ceremony), and no complaints to the Journalists’ Union followed. […]

“Sincerely,
Vladislav Pisanov, Chelyabinsk.”

____________________________________________________________________________

This Digest has been prepared by the Glasnost Defense Foundation (GDF), http://www.gdf.ru.

We appreciate the support of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Digest released once a week, on Mondays, since August 11, 2000.
Distributed by e-mail to 1,600 subscribers in and outside Russia.

Editor-in-chief: Alexei Simonov

Editorial board: Boris Timoshenko – Monitoring Service chief, Pyotr Polonitsky – head of GDF regional network, Svetlana Zemskova – lawyer, Vsevolod Shelkhovskoy – translator, Alexander Yefremov – web administrator in charge of Digest distribution.


We would appreciate reference to our organization in the event of any Digest-sourced information or other materials being used.

Contacts: Glasnost Defense Foundation, 4, Zubovsky Boulevard, Office 432, 119992 Moscow, Russia.
Telephone/fax: (495) 637-4947, 637-4420, e-mail: boris@gdf.ru, fond@gdf.ru
To be crossed out from the Digest list of subscribers, please e-mail a note to fond@gdf.ru .

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