A scandal around Respublika publishing house is growing up, in whose printing house almost all regional and some national newspapers are printed. After a bandit attack on the publishing house’s car, after search in the office and arrest of repeatedly printed circulation of Svoboda opposition newspaper, journalist of local editions, who took part in the sitting of Electorate Committee of Ukraine, expressed their concern with the work of the publishing house to be stopped by the police to hinder from information drain connected with the scandal around Svoboda newspaper. While expressing their concern, the journalists refer to informed sources. According to Respublika publishing house’s director Stanislav Zhurilo, there is information that a sitting was carried out in the regional administration, in which leaders of force structures took part. At the sitting the task was discussed to hinder from the newspaper’s printing this week. “I cannot believe it,” – Zhurilo said. Though other journalists shared similar information. Zhurilo said he had been shocked while hearing it, because he could not admit that freedom of speech would be pressed upon in this way, after 10 years of democracy. However, one circulation of the newspaper was drown in the river, while the second one was seized without any legal reasons (the court’s decision is necessary for it). On Monday, a search was carried out in editorial office of Cherkassy Vechernie newspaper, whose editor is Respublika company’s director Stanislav Zhurilo. He was in Kiev at that time, though a letter was left for him, signed by public prosecutor of the city of Cherkassy, A.Litvinov. “Your edition has many time published untruth data about some citizens, offending their honour, - the letter reads. – Moreover, the publishing house keeps, uses and spreads information about persons without their agreement to it. I draw your attention to it and warn about you are to be under criminal liability. In this connection, I would ask you to stop gathering, using and spreading confidential information about persons without their agreement to it.” Respublika publishing house’s workers do not know how to interpret this warning. Should they, for example, on themselves censor newspapers printing by their publishing house or not? Nobody could explain, how the public prosecutor’s office learned about the “untruth information” and about “separate citizens” which however were not called, taking into account that the circulation was annihilated. “They want to make a censor of me, - Zhurilo said. – While I have no right to censor the newspapers, and I will never allow to meddle in other newspapers’ editorial policy as well as in that one of my publishing house.” According to some data, proceedings about the case with the car still have not been instituted, while in this incident 100-thousand circulation of the newspaper was stolen. While two actions were brought against the victim (S.Zhurilo) of this case, and from laughable reasons. For, it is clear for everybody, that the publishing house is not responsible for information, the newspapers contain published by Respublika, otherwise almost all publishing houses and libraries should be closed. Moreover, the “confidential information” mentioned by the public prosecutor’s office is the deputy inquiry about Public Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Mikhail Potebenko. Yesterday, his view on what had happened, mayor of Cherkassy expressed, Vladimir Oleynik. At a special press-conference he said that he was shocked with the unlawful action of the state power. According to the mayor, a decision of the city executive committee will be taken on this incident. Journalists decided to gather before the publishing house this Wednesday and to invite people’s deputies of the district to the action, to hinder the police and the public prosecutor’s office from breakdown of printing newspapers.
Andrei Lubenski PRAVDA.Ru Ukraine
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/03/26/38836.html