Дайджест
17 Декабря 2009 года

GLASNOST DEFENSE FOUNDATION DIGEST No. 457


TOPIC OF THE WEEK

Andrei Sakharov awards “Journalism as an Act of Conscience” handed out

RUSSIA
1. Republic of Karelia. Mayoral officials in Petrozavodsk breach Russian legislation
2. Perm Territory. Newspaper wins case in court

GLASNOST DEFENSE FOUNDATION
Some statistics cited

OUR PUBLICATIONS
Selection of national elite canceled; self-nominated “selectionists” to be called to justice

OUR PARTNERS
1. CPJ special report published
2. Statement of media organizations and associations

ANNOUNCEMENT
Murdered Journalists Memory Day marked December 15



TOPIC OF THE WEEK

Andrei Sakharov awards Journalism as an Act of Conscience handed out

A ceremony at Moscow’s Andrei Sakharov Public Center on December 12 honored the winner, nominees and finalists of the 9th annual competition for the A. Sakharov Award “Journalism as an Act of Conscience”.

This year’s main prize went to Tatyana Sedykh, editor of the newspaper Moyo Poberezhye, Khabarovsk Territory.

The group of nominees included Erik Chernyshov, Novy Fokus web magazine (Sayanogorsk); Pavel Gutiontov, newspaper Delovoy Vtornik (Moscow); Vyacheslav Golubtsov, newspaper Golos Sharyi (Kostroma Region); and Andrei Piontkovsky, Grani.ru web publication (Moscow).

The Jury awarded special diplomas to Nelly Margulis (newspaper Volkhonka, town of Noginsk, Moscow Region) and the newspaper Arsenyevskiye Vesti, Vladivostok.

Also, diplomas were given to all the finalists, among them:

Galina Eisner, newspaper Krasnoyarsky Rabochiy (Krasnoyarsk); Sergey Orlov, newspaper Ufa Gubernskaya (Ufa); Alexander Yagodkin, newspaper Novaya Gazeta v Voronezhe (Voronezh); Abdullah Duduyev, Dosh magazine (Moscow); Boris Vishnevsky, newspaper Novaya Gazeta v Sankt-Peterburge (St. Petersburg); Lyubov Apalkova, newspaper Zolotoye Koltso (Yaroslavl); Yulia Kalinina, newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets (Moscow); Marina Zavadskaya, newspaper Arsenyevskiye Vesti (Vladivostok); Natalia Ostrovskaya, newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda (Vladivostok); Malilka Betiyeva, Dosh magazine (Grozny); Natalia Radulova, Ogonyok magazine (Moscow); Nadezhda Alisimchik, Надежда Алисимчик, newspaper Arsenyevskiye Vesti (Vladivostok); Anastasia Popova, newspaper Arsenyevskiye Vesti (Vladivostok); Viktor Bulavintsev, newspaper Dalnevostochkiye Vedomosti (Vladivostok); Nadezhda Andreyeva, newspaper Novaya Gazeta v Saratove (Saratov); Olga Gulenok, Kasparov.ru website (Moscow); Igor Tsagoyev, newspaper Severny Kavkaz (Nalchik); and Anna Seleznyova, newspaper Arsenyevskiye Vesti (Vladivostok).

The newspaper Moyo Poberezhye based in the village of Vanino, Khabarovsk Territory, received a diploma for publishing the winner’s writings, and the newspapers Delovoi Vtornik (Moscow) and Golos Sharyi (Kostroma Region) and web publications Novy Focus (Abakan) and Grani.ru (Moscow) – for publishing the nominees’ works.

Below are a few excerpts from competitors’ works:

- Thanks for your support which I appreciate very much. Don’t fall into despair if something goes wrong. What am I to do if I once chose a journalist’s profession? Nothing but go on working. A journalist is akin to a flyer; have you ever seen a pilot who is afraid of getting into his plane and taking off? You know, if you are a pilot, you must get into the cockpit and fly. So must a journalist – if he considers him- or herself a good professional. Well, of course, there are fences and signal flags beyond which you cannot venture – but you understand that the main thing is to climb high enough not to think of all those fences and flags anymore. If you can’t, keep flying at low altitude where the radar cannot detect you. [The famous Soviet pilot] Chkalov could fly under a bridge – on one of those ancient airplanes! Thanks God, technology is much more sophisticated today, and we have the Internet at our disposal. (Lydia Kirilenko, Kostroma).
 
- I would not say it was some “cup-filling” incident that caused me to probe how open the authorities were to the press. No, it was my routine information-gathering work that prompted me to do that. I had been busy gathering information as a correspondent for a federal government newspaper that focused particularly on government performance. My repeated attempts to write something really meaningful and impressive would most often result in well-rounded and thoroughly depersonalized stories released; that caused me to sit down and think hard why the result was not adequate to my effort. Did you ever notice that people start grinning when they hear the phrase “freedom of expression”? The word “glasnost”, too, has been falling into disuse. Journalism has been finding itself ever more dissolved in PR practices. But the phrase “the openness and transparency of power” is still heard time and again – maybe because government officials themselves like to repeat it. It seems to be the last bastion of glasnost. So what is this bastion actually like in the region of Sakhalin, if studied separately and at close quarters? (Olga Vassilyeva, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk).

- The results of numerous public opinion polls regarding censorship look really frustrating: 75 to 80 percent of Russia’s residents long for that totalitarian society institute to be re-established in this country. That makes you recall a line from Maksimilian Voloshin’s poem: “Yesterday’s slave, tortured almost to death by freedom, will rise up to demand his chains back.” It is “ordinary” people – those who buy millions of copies of yellow newspapers and favor scandalous, with a taste of sex, TV shows – who are calling to chain the media or hold them in leash. Chained media are also favored by parliamentarians – those lobbying for legislative acts in the interests of corrupt officials – and even by many journalists who feel fairly well in the stall with no need to bear responsibility for what they say or write… “Give us the chains, we feel safer that way!” they keep calling. They believe the chained world will have higher morals. And it will be calmer and quieter – and look much like a cemetery… (Vladimir Tikhonov, Chita).


Earlier, the Andrei Sakharov Awards “Journalism as an Act of Conscience” were won by Tamara Proskuryakova, Kamyshin (2008); Yevgeny Sholokh, Vladivostok (2007); Anna Lebedeva, Rostov-on-Don (2006); Igor Naidyonov, Moscow (2005); Mikhail Afanasyev, Abakan (2004); Galina Kovalskaya, Moscow (2003); Anna Politkovskaya, Moscow (2002), and Elvira Goryukhina, Novosibirsk (2001).

This year’s Jury involved:

Chairman: A. K. Simonov, President, Glasnost Defense Foundation;
Award founder: Peter Vins;
Members:
A.    B. Pankin, editor-in-chief, Strategiya I Praktika Izdatelskogo Biznesa – Ifra-GIPP Magazin;
Y. V. Samodurov – senior researcher, State Center of Modern Art, Moscow;
Pilar Bonet, El Pais correspondent;
A.    R. Shirikyan, publisher, Cigar Clan magazine;
M.    V. Afanasyev, editor-in-chief, Novy Focus web magazine, Abakan, A. Sakharov award winner (2004);
I.    V. Naidyonov, special reporter, Russkiy Reporter magazine, A. Sakharov award winner (2005);
M.    S. Muslimova, assistant professor, Russian Language and Literature Department, Dagestan State University;
B.    V. Dubin, sociologist, Levada Center;
S.    A. Lourier, observer, newspaper Delo, St. Petersburg;
A.    S. Lebedeva, editor, newspaper Moi Kavkaz, Rostov-on-Don, A. Sakharov award winner (2006);
N.    M. Antufyeva, editor-in-chief, newspaper Tsentr Azii, Kyzyl;
Y.    L. Chernyshov, observer, newspaper Bogatei, Saratov;
Gregory White, head of The Wall Street Journal’s Moscow office;
Susanne Scholl, head of ORF (Austrian television) Moscow office;
T. V. Proskuryakova, reporter, newspaper Volgogradskaya Pravda, Kamyshin, A. Sakharov award winner (2008).
Executive secretary: B. M. Timoshenko, Glasnost Defense Foundation.

The Jury has transferred the money saved in the course of the competition and award-giving ceremony to the Fund of Assistance to Mikhail Beketov, the Khimkinskaya Pravda editor crippled by unidentified attackers. Other voluntary donations to M. Beketov are welcome at:

ИНН 5047107799
КПП 504701001
Р/C 4070381060049 0676000
ЗАО МКБ «МОСКОМПРИВАТБАНК» (г. Москва)
БИК 044585342
ОКПО 29296665
ОКОНХ 96120
ОГРН 1067711004360
Кор/счет 30101810400000000342




RUSSIA

1. Republic of Karelia. Mayoral officials in Petrozavodsk breach Russian legislation


By Anatoly Tsygankov,
GDF staff correspondent in North-Western Federal District

Officials of the Petrozavodsk administration have rudely violated the Russian Federation law by interfering with the work of journalist Georgy Chentemirov who was writing a report about a citi committee meeting that discussed the provision of housing for A. Tutayev, a homeless orphan and a handicapped person from childhood. It was Tutayev who invited the journalist to attend the committee meeting together with him.

G. Chentemirov made some audio recordings during the discussion; after the end he approached the organizers to learn their names and official positions. The response was shocking: the journalist was told he had not been entitled to be present at the meeting without the mayoral press service’s permission (although it was an open meeting), and had had no right to make any audio recordings. The organizers called security guards who led G. Chentemirov into a service room where they made him, under the threat of calling the police, erase the recordings and checked whether he had indeed done so. In addition, an administration official gave him oral orders not to publish any report about the committee meeting.

The Karelian Journalists’ Union will duly report all those facts to the republican prosecutor’s office for investigation: the administration officials and security guards behaved unlawfully towards a journalist fulfilling an editorial assignment.


2. Perm Territory. Newspaper wins case in court

By Vassily Moseyev,
GDF staff correspondent in Volga Federal District

The regional court in Perm has canceled the Berezniki city court decision charging moral damage compensation from the newspaper Gorodskaya Gazeta (GG).

One of last July’s GG issues featured a story about a customer who had bought a broken notebook PC which the store refused to change for a working one. The man sued the store paying RUR 5,000 for the services of a legal expert from Justine, a public organization defending consumer rights. However, he lost the case in court – in his view, because of the hired lawyer’s non-professionalism.

The GG publication supplied details about the conflict, together with a portrayal of the Justine head Anatoly Katsin who was described as a man who had met the article’s author in his office “in a T-shirt, tracksuit pants and slippers” and turned out to be a building engineer, not a lawyer, by profession.

For some unclear reason, the primary court found that information “insulting and disclosing the plaintiff’s personal data”, and ruled for the newspaper to pay him moral damage compensation and reimburse his spending on medicines, judicial services, and the state fee.

The higher-standing regional court found the publication about A. Katsin socially significant and compliant with the law, and turned the plaintiff’s claim down in full.




GLASNOST DEFENSE FOUNDATION

Some statistics cited

Last week, the Glasnost Defense Foundation was referred to at least 15 times in the Internet, including at:

http://www.ifex.org/awards/2009/12/08/wpfc_prize/
http://www.rbcdaily.ru/2009/12/09/focus/446949
http://www.fontanka.ru/2009/12/07/067/
http://www.novayagazeta.ru/data/2009/136/25.html
http://www.gazetanv.ru/archive/article/?id=6089
http://spb.aif.ru/society/news/15322
http://www.riadagestan.ru/news/2009/12/11/89761
http://www.gazetanv.ru/archive/article/?id=6095
http://www.onair.ru/index.php?CLNAME=enews&act=view_msg&NMID=29424
http://www.dagpravda.ru/?com=materials&task=view&page=material&id=9375
http://www.asi.org.ru/ASI3/rws_asi.nsf/va_WebPages/F0665F6D6C56F8A7C325768C003F266ARus




OUR PUBLICATIONS

Selection of national elite canceled; self-nominated “selectionists” to be called to justice


By Irina Gundareva,
GDF staff correspondent in Ural Federal District

The Leninsky Inter-District Investigations Department of Magnitogorsk, Chelyabinsk Region, has instituted legal proceedings against the website Russkoye Natsionalnoye Dvizheniye (RND, Russian Nationalist Movement). The website is likely to vanish from the Internet and its owners may be held liable under the RF Criminal Code.

The official statement says that the criminal proceedings were launched in the wake of an FSB report about the RND website featuring a program aimed at “leading Russian patriots and nationalists to the helm of power; replacing non-Russians from the key posts in the public institutions and organizations; changing effective legislation; and unconditionally deporting all the 20-odd million immigrants, such as Pakistanis, Chinese, Vietnamese and others who have stolen from the Russians their most profitable jobs – those connected with trading”. To attain the proclaimed goals, the program said, people would be encouraged to “hold rallies, marches, picketing actions, and coal miners-style acts of disobedience; keep calling parliamentarians on the phone, recall them from the legislative assemblies, recall heads of administrations, and collect 10 million signatures to get the proposed legislative amendments enacted”. As a further radical measure, a “selection of the national elite” was proposed.

The latter’s implications are unclear, although history knows of numerous prior examples of racial and ethnic purges with the well-known outcome. Two separate studies of those texts by linguistic experts have yielded the conclusion that the RND program for Magnitogorsk contains calls to extremist activity.

As it turns out, the website owner Vyacheslav Loza already served a 7-month term of correctional labor in 2008-2009 for issuing and circulating 50 copies of Russian March leaflets in 2007. He was accused under Article 282.1 of the RF Criminal Code of “making both direct and disguised calls inciting hatred toward Chechens and Jews and disparaging their human dignity,” according to linguistic expert conclusions.

The RND case is currently being studied by a group of investigators involving FSB officers. V. Loza is likely to be convicted under Article 280.2 of the RF Criminal Code.



OUR PARTNERS

1. CPJ special report published


On December 8 the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) published its special report “2009 Prison Census: Freelance Journalists under Fire” putting the number of reporters, editors and photo correspondents jailed worldwide at a total of 136.

“China continued to be the world’s worst jailer of journalists, a dishonor it has held for 11 consecutive years. Iran, Cuba, Eritrea and Burma round out the top five jailers from among the 26 nations that imprison journalists. Each nation has persistently placed among the world’s worst in detaining journalists,” the report says.
 
The group of ex-Soviet countries on the CPJ list includes Uzbekistan (with 7 journalists kept in detention), Azerbaijan (6), Kazakhstan (1) and Russia, where Boris Stomakhin, editor of the small-circulation monthly newspaper Radikalnaya Politika (Radical Politics), was imprisoned on March 22, 2006, on charges of inciting ethnic hatred and making public calls to extremist activity.

We hereby remind the readers that Aigul Makhmutova, editor of the Moscow-based newspaper Sudba Kuzminok, is in prison, too. On December 4, the Moscow City Court canceled the Kuzminki District Court’s ruling on Makhmutova’s case and returned the latter for a review. Last September, after publishing a report on unlawful housing construction in her residential area, A. Makhmutova had been sentenced to 5 and a half years in jail on charges of fraud, extortion and beating a police officer (sic!).

For the full text of the CPJ report, see http://www.cpj.org/imprisoned/2009.php


2. Statement of Media Organizations and Associations:
Impact of Weakening Protection of Sources in Europe


Mark Stephens
Finers Stephens Innocent
179 Great Portland Street
London
W1W 5LS
UK

30 November 2009

Dear Mr. Stephens:
The undersigned news organizations and publishers’ associations write this statement in response to your request for information about the impact on our work that would result were the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (“ECHR”) to affirm the Third Section’s judgment in the case of Sanoma Uitgevers B.V. v. the Netherlands.  Each of us is based, has news bureaus or operations, has members, or reports on events occurring, in European nations.  We are significantly affected by decisions of the ECHR that concern the protection of journalistic sources, safeguards against the search of newsrooms, and other aspects of media freedom.  Brief descriptions of our organizations and associations appear at the end of this letter.
The ECHR’s seminal judgment in Goodwin v. the United Kingdom established the right of a journalist to protect his or her sources as a fundamental principle of media freedom throughout Europe.  In Roemen and Schmit v. Luxembourg, the ECHR made clear that a similar principle protects media companies from arbitrary searches of their premises and seizure of their work product and other documents.   
We are concerned that the Third Section’s judgment in Sanoma Uitgevers B.V. v. the Netherlands undermines these standards to the extent that it appears to condone interference with journalistic sources without prior formal judicial scrutiny, and without proof of exhaustion of alternative sources of information.  We believe that if this precedent stands, police forces and public prosecutors across Europe may consider themselves free to exercise a similar lack of moderation and we may find ourselves the first resort – not the last – when the authorities begin investigations into newsworthy subjects.  If our operations are subject to the threat of searches and seizures, and if we are not able to fully protect our sources, this will greatly impede our ability to gather and report information of public interest. 

For the full text of the statement signed by The Associated Press, Bloomberg News, Index on Censorship, The European Newspaper Publishers Association (ENPA), Condé Nast Publications, Hearst Corporation, The National Geographic Society, the New York Times Company, La Repubblica, Reuters, Time, Inc., The Washington Post, and The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), see http://www.gdf.ru/lenta/item/1/679




ANNOUNCEMENT

Murdered Journalists Memory Day marked December 15


Every year on December 15, the Russian Journalists’ Union pays tribute to the journalists who died fulfilling their professional duty.  We never leave any such case unnoticed and always insist on the most thorough investigation of crimes against our colleagues. Regrettably, cases of this kind by far not always go all the way to court, and by far not all the perpetrators are called to justice.

We are left to share the grief of loss with the widows, mothers and children of our murdered colleagues and remember each of the victims as long as we live.

On Memory Day, the doors of the Central House of Journalists are open to anyone willing to pay tribute to the dead together with us.

The traditional meeting with family members and friends of the killed journalists will open at the CHJ (8a, Nikitsky Boulevard) at noon on December 15, 2009.

Press service of the Russian Journalists’ Union
Contact phone: +7 (495) 637-5284




This Digest has been prepared by the Glasnost Defense Foundation (GDF), http://www.gdf.ru.

We appreciate the support of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Digest released once a week, on Mondays, since August 11, 2000.
Distributed by e-mail to 1,600 subscribers in and outside Russia.

Editor-in-chief: Alexei Simonov

Editorial board: Boris Timoshenko – Monitoring Service chief, Pyotr Polonitsky – head of GDF regional network, Svetlana Zemskova – lawyer, Vsevolod Shelkhovskoy – translator, Alexander Efremov – web administrator in charge of Digest distribution.


We would appreciate reference to our organization in the event of any Digest-sourced information or other materials being used.

Contacts: Glasnost Defense Foundation, 4, Zubovsky Boulevard, Office 432, 119992 Moscow, Russia.
Telephone/fax: (495) 637-4947, 637-4420, e-mail: boris@gdf.ru, fond@gdf.ru
To be crossed out from the Digest list of subscribers, please e-mail a note to fond@gdf.ru .

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Архив
ФЗГ продолжает бороться за свое честное имя. Пройдя все необходимые инстанции отечественного правосудия, Фонд обратился в Европейский суд. Для обращения понадобилось вкратце оценить все, что Фонд сделал за 25 лет своего существования. Вот что у нас получилось:
Полезная деятельность Фонда защиты гласности за 25 лет его жизни