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Crimean journalists claim about pressure and censorship

18.01.2013, 09:48
 Zair Akadyrov, chief editor of Argumenty Nedeli-Crimea Internet-edition regards activities of First Deputy Prime Minister of Crimea Pavlo Burlakov as an attempt to put pressure upon the media and to introduce censorship. He said this in a commentary to Argumenty Nedeli - Crimea.

Akadyrov considers abnormal the response of the First Deputy Prime Minister of Crimea to the article "Hostel as an asylum for the Crimean VIPs. Story of Pavlo Burlakov ", which was published by the edition.

"We believe that the reaction of Burlakova is abnormal. For us, it is strange. We were to certain extent insulted, because, one of the first people of the Council of Ministers, instead of being open, do just the opposite, in order to restrict journalists in their abilities, their freedom of expression and to deprive the public of objective information. Therefore, we consider these statements from Burlakov as an attempt to put pressure upon the media, an attempt to introduce censorship, and, thereby, limit our freedom as journalists, "- said Akadyrov.

The chief editor does not rule out that the case will be brought to court, “either to scare away, or to show who is the boss here".

"The government declares openness, willingness to cooperate, but against all this are statements to law enforcement agencies with indignation that we supposedly disclose confidential information. We are surprised and we would like the government to come to their senses, since the Crimean this situation in our memory for the first time "- said Akadyrov.

In her turn, the author of article about Burlakov, Anna Andrievska, noted that, when she was preparing the material, somebody called the editorial office and asked not to publish it, as it contained personal information about the First Deputy Prime Minister.

"Most probably, he (Burlakov - Ed.) was insulted with the fact that asked, warned and we did not listen and published. The article is socially important because it is about the use of municipal property that belongs to the territorial community, and we did not even discuss whether to publish it or not"-  the journalist said.

"The law clearly sets out what information is confidential. The information on where a public person lives, especially if he lives in the building of municipal property, cannot be confidential a priori,"- Andriyevska said.

Roman Golovenko, the lawyers of the Institute of Mass Information, believes that the information about the place of residence of Pavlo Burlakov, who is a public person, cannot be considered confidential.

"Without any doubt, the place of residence of the First Deputy Prime Minister, who is a public figure, cannot be considered a confidential information. It corresponds to with the European standards. But even if domestic investigators are not aware of these standards, they would have to establish the absence of a crime because of insignificance: P.Burlakov hardly lives in the hostel in which he is registered, and the disclosure of his registration in the hostel will not cause any annoying visits to him,"- said Golovenko.

According to the information of IMI, First Deputy Prime Minister of Crimea Pavlo Burlakov demands public apology from the editors of Argumenty Nedeli – Crimea Internet-edition and the author of the article about his place of residence in a municipal building. The Investigation Department of the Symferopol City Police Directorate opened criminal proceedings on the fact of disclosure of confidential information by journalists of Argumenty Nedeli – Crimea in an article by Anna Andriyevska of November 27, 2012. Criminal proceedings opened at the request of the First Deputy Prime Minister of Crimea Pavlo Burlakov.

On January 17, 2013, police arrived into the editorial office to establish its legal address and personal information about the author of the article and her editors. On January 18, editor of Argumenty Nedeli - Crimea Zair Akadyrov and journalist Anna Andriyevska were summoned for an interrogation as witnesses.

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