Journalist Union claims SBU pressures local newspaper in Mykolaiv region
The administration of SBU in Mykolaivska oblast addressed the newspaper “Visnyk Zhovtnevshchyny” (Mykolaivska oblast) with a demand to present the newspaper’s charter, staff schedule, resolution of local rayon council on assignment of the newspaper’s editor-in- chief, decrees on assignment of staff members, job descriptions of the chief administrator and other staff members, information about their salaries and bonuses. The National Union of Journalist of Ukraine reports this at their website. The Security Service of Ukraine demands this information based on the law "On legal bases for combating organized crime". As the newspaper’s editor-in- chief Yulia Yakovleva states, the law applies only if there is any actual evidence that the newspaper staff is involved into organized crime, and effectively the letter with a demand to provide such information was accusation of all newspaper staff of a criminal offence. Yakovleva says that she can provide the information requested, but only if the Security Service provides a valid explanation on why they need it, otherwise the newspaper staff will use remedies as provided by the legislation.
Serhiy Tomilenko, first secretary of the Journalist Union, emphasizes that it is not the first example of pressure of local administrations on the editors-in-chief because of the reform – the Law that rules to make all local governmental mass media communal ones (Law Draft No.1123, approved by the Parliament on November 24, 2015). Such actions undermine the reform, and those governmental officials who practice such methods must be punished, Tomilenko said.