Europe & Central Asia

2003

Alerts   |   Russia

Parliament approves restrictive legal amendments

New York, June 26, 2003—The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is disappointed that the upper house of Russia's Parliament, the Federation Council, approved a series of legal amendments on Wednesday, June 25, that could severely restrict the media's ability to report on the December 2003 parliamentary elections and the March 2004 presidential elections.

The lower house, or the State Duma, passed the legal amendments on June 18. [See CPJ's June 6 letter.]
June 26, 2003 12:00 PM ET

Alerts   |   Russia

Media Ministry closes national TV channel


New York, June 23, 2003
—The Russian Media Ministry issued a decree on Saturday, June 21, pulling the independent national television channel TVS off the air at midnight, replacing it with Sport TV, a state-run sports channel.

TVS, the only channel in Russia that has remained highly critical of the Kremlin, was paralyzed for months due to fierce competition between two groups of rival shareholders led by aluminum tycoon Oleg Deripaska and Anatoly Chubais, a reformist politician and head of Russia's national electricity grid. Deripaska, who has close ties to the Kremlin, finally bought out Chubais in early June but failed to provide funds for the continued operation of the debt-ridden station.
June 23, 2003 12:00 PM ET

Alerts   |   Russia

Parliament passes restrictive legal amendments

New York, June 20, 2003—The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is disappointed that the lower house of Russia's parliament, the State Duma, passed a series of legal amendments on Wednesday, June 18, that would severely restrict the media's ability to report on the December 2003 parliamentary elections and the February 2004 presidential elections.

The bill, titled "On Amendments and Addendums Brought into Certain Legislative Acts," would empower the Media Ministry, Central Election Commission (CEC), and regional electoral commissions to shutter media outlets during electoral campaigns for engaging in "biased" political commentary.
June 20, 2003 12:00 PM ET

Letters   |   Serbia

CPJ concerned about government harrassment of the press

Your Excellency: The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is concerned about a series of government actions over the last several months that have further deteriorated Serbia's already poor press freedom conditions.

June 12, 2003 12:00 PM ET

Letters   |   Russia

CPJ concerned about legislation

Dear Mr. Chairman: The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), an independent, nonpartisan organization dedicated to defending press freedom worldwide, is very concerned about a bill, titled "On Amendments and Addendums Brought into Certain Legislative Acts," currently under consideration in the Russian Parliament. The bill, which is scheduled for a second--and possibly final--reading in the lower house of the Duma on June 11, seeks to strengthen state regulation over independent media outlets, particularly their coverage of election campaigns.

June 6, 2003 12:00 PM ET

Letters   |   Turkey

CPJ protests continued harassment of journalist

Your Excellency: The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) strongly protests the ongoing legal harassment of Hasan Ozgun, a journalist formerly working with the now defunct Ozgur Gundem, a pro-Kurdish daily.

June 6, 2003 12:00 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Serbia

Politician allegedly attacks journalist during interview

New York, June 5, 2003—According to 24-year-old free-lancer Vladimir Jesic, the mayor of the central city of Cacak attacked him during an interview on TV Apolo on Sunday, June 1, in the capital, Belgrade.

Mayor Velimir Ilic, who also heads the New Serbia party, became angry when Jesic asked him if he is related to Strahinja Ilic, who had been detained by the government in the mass arrests that followed the March 12 assassination of Serbian prime minister Zoran Djinidjic. In a telephone interview, the journalist told CPJ that Ilic kicked him in the knee, told him to shut up, and began cursing and threatening him while he walked out on the interview at the New Serbia office in Belgrade.
June 5, 2003 12:00 PM ET

Alerts   |   Belarus

Information Ministry closes independent newspaper for three months

New York, May 30, 2003—CPJ is disturbed that the independent, Minsk-based newspaper Belaruskaya Delovaya Gazeta was forced to cease publication for three months on order of Belarusian information minister Mikhail Podgayny.

Minister Podgayny issued the order on Wednesday, May 28, and the papers closed yesterday.

The Information Ministry had given three official warnings to Belaruskaya Delovaya Gazeta and to its monthly investigative supplement, BDG­Dlya sluzhebnogo polzovaniya, on May 20, 21, and 22 for allegedly defaming President Aleksandr Lukashenko and publishing information about court proceedings without obtaining proper authorization, according to local press reports.
May 30, 2003 12:00 PM ET

Alerts   |   Belarus

Information Ministry closes independent newspaper for three months

New York, May 30, 2003--CPJ is disturbed that the independent, Minsk-based newspaper Belaruskaya Delovaya Gazeta was forced to cease publication for three months on order of Belarusian information minister Mikhail Podgayny.

Minister Podgayny issued the order on Wednesday, May 28, and the papers closed yesterday.

The Information Ministry had given three official warnings to Belaruskaya Delovaya Gazeta and to its monthly investigative supplement, BDG­Dlya sluzhebnogo polzovaniya, on May 20, 21, and 22 for allegedly defaming President Aleksandr Lukashenko and publishing information about court proceedings without obtaining proper authorization, according to local press reports.
May 30, 2003 12:00 AM ET

Alerts   |   Russia

Supreme Court orders retrial of defendants previously acquitted of journalist’s murder

New York, May 28, 2003—The Military Collegium of the Supreme Court yesterday overturned the June 2002 acquittal of six men accused of organizing the 1994 murder of Dmitry Kholodov, a popular journalist for the Moscow newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets.

The Supreme Court ruled that the Moscow Circuit Military Court had "failed to take all available evidence into account" during the 18-month trial, which began in November 2000, according to the Interfax news agency.

May 28, 2003 12:00 PM ET

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2003

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