Mykolaiv journalists complain about governor's pressure
Journalists from Mykolaiv Tetiana Lokatska and Andriy Lokhmatov complain about pressure by the head of Mykolaivska state oblast administration Oleksiy Savchenko on local mass media and journalists who write critical materials about him. They reported this to IMI, and published the relevant entries on their Facebook pages. According to Tetiana Lokatska, the head of local State Administration, in addition to distancing from the journalist who ask questions he does not want to answer, lately started to raise stakes and cause more serious pressure. “In addition to frequent summons of journalists one by one, allegedly just to have coffee, not to lecture. For such conversations, as a rule, "inconvenient" journalists are called. He told them various things, like, that a case can be opened against anyone. He constantly boasted that he controls all law enforcement agencies of the oblast. Also, he complained about "inconvenient" comments in Facebook”, Loksatska commented. The latest case like this, according to her, took place on January 23, when journalist from Mykolaiv Andriy Lokhmatov published his investigations program “Cherhova zrada” about how Mykolaiv State Administration illegally executes works in the airport of Mykolaiv. “The program about the airport was not even published, when the founders of online media outlets that were supposed to publish the journalist's program, were promptly summoned for some kind of interrogations. Saying, like, do not fiddle around, and as a warning, a lesson to other mass media to keep their mouths shut. As a result, the program was not published online, only on the personal page of the journalist in Facebook”, Tetiana Lokatska said. The journalist does not see a point in complaining to law enforcement agencies, as she considers them biased. In his comment for IMI, journalist Andriy Lokhmatov confirmed that the issue of his program ordered by online media outlet “NikVesti”, indeed, was never published and he had to publish it in his personal Facebook entry. Chief editor of “NikVesti” Oleh Dereniuha in his comment for IMI confirmed, that the story about the local airport was not published at the website of the online media outlet, and that one of the owners of the media outlets was interrogated by police right before this. However he refused to tell further details of this story. IMI did not manage to get a comment from the head of Oblast State Administration, Oleksiy Savchenko. However, the advisor of the Oblast State Administration for public communications Andriy Senchenko called the allegations "fantasies, personal impressions of the journalists".
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