Oleksandria city council sent answer with denial concerning pressure against journalists - NAJU
Oleksandriia city council, in response to the petition of the National Association of Journalists of Ukraine about threats to journalists and refusals to admit them to official events, sent an answer with blatant denial of any knowledge about the incidents of pressure against press. The NAJU press service, which sent its petition to the city mayor of Oleksandria Stepan Tsapiuk and the head of the Chief Administration of National Police in Kirovohradska oblast Serhiy Kondrashenko, released a statement about this, “Detector Media” reports.
“The ground for the petition was the address of Oleksandria territorial branch of the National Association of Journalists of Ukraine about a crisis with freedom of press in the city. In particular, the local journalists drew attention to systematic violations of the freedom of press. Those include threats to journalists who write about criticism of governmental agencies, attempts to pressure mass media that are not controlled by authorities, arson of a local TV company office, and also ignoring the court judgment about cancellation of accreditation of journalists in Oleksandiia city council”, the press service statement reads.
According to the Association of Journalists, conflicts of the city council with mass media have been going on for quite a long time. In September of 2016, city mayor Tsapiuk made a public declaration to inspect the journalists’ income records in the tax office. The Association a published lawyer's commentary about this case. Also, according to the Association’s press service, the city mayor threatened journalist Liudmyla Makei for her material.
The city council sent a response to the petition, in which it blatantly denies any impediments to journalist activities. The letter signed by the administrator of the city council's executive committee V.V.Chebotariov states that the city council never received any complaints or documents related to impediments to journalists or restriction of their rights by the council.
The Association’s head Serhiy Tomilenko said that his organization hoped to receive some grounded response about the official point of view on this whole situation, as it was many times described and raised in mass media, and it could be the first step to resolving the conflict between the press and the authorities.