The sentence, which was handed down on journalist Grigory Pasko, caused a lot of discussion not only in Russia, but in the whole world too. The public committee for Grigory Pasko’s protection addressed to President Putin, to the Office of the Prosecutor General, the Supreme Court and political parties of the country with a request to “clamp down on the special services that scoff at the law.” It was stressed in the address that Grigory Pasko was not guilty and that he should be discharged. On December 25 the court martial of the Pacific fleet sentenced Pasko to four years of imprisonment for allegedly handing the secret information over to Japan. As Radio Svoboda reported, the committee was going to arrange a meeting in the center of Moscow on January 7. Another meeting is planned to take place January 10 – in front of the building of the Federal Security Service department for the Pacific fleet, as well as the building of the office of the military prosecutor in the city of Vladivostok. The similar actions will take place in the cities of Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Murmansk and in other places too.
The West was not indifferent to journalist’s fate either. The government of Germany set out its concern in connection with the situation with mass media in Russia. Joschka Fischer, the Foreign Minister of Germany is about to send the adequate statement to his Russian colleague, Igor Ivanov. “The Russian authorities ought to study an opportunity for reconsideration of the sentence,” – a press-secretary of the German Foreign Ministry stated, NewsEmax reported.
The Western media stopped chewing over the issue of freedom of speech in Russia after the events of September 11, especially after the statement from George Bush, who said that everything was just ok with freedom of speech in Russia. And then – here we go. Pasko’s case is not a common one and now it is not easy to give it up on that. Pasko is not Vladimir Gusinsky (the head of Media-Most holding, which does not exist anymore), who was fooling the Western society for so long, pretending to be a prisoner of conscience. He was not gaining any dividend, but spoiled Russia’s image in the West. Now the special services are following in Gusinsky and Berezovsky’s footsteps. Why are they doing that? Maybe it is because they want to exercise their consistency, for they would not survive any verdict of not guilty. If it is so, then it is more harm than good to Putin.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea