www.Glavred.info, Kyiv, Ukraine, January 29, 2004
Acting on the lawsuit filed by the Jewish Antifascist Committee, Kyiv's
Shevchenkivsky district court ruled to suspend circulation of the Silski
Visti (Country News) newspaper, its deputy editor-in-chief Borys Polischuk
The European Antifascist Committee has accused Silski Visti of stirring up
inter-ethnic strife in the articles on problems of the Jewish people in
Ukraine published by PhD Vasyl Yaremenko of the Interregional Human
Recourses Academy. Polischuk said that his newspaper published extracts from
the book by Yaremenko in a separate leaflet in addition to the main issue to
advertise the book. He added that the court ruling on stirring up
inter-ethnic strife is an attack on the Silski Visti only, and not on
In the entire history of Silski Visti, Polischuk went on saying, its
publication was interrupted only three time: during the fascist occupation;
at times of the State Emergency Commission after collapse of the USSR and
when Kuchma stopped publication of few issues. Now Silski Visti circulates
518,000 copies, which makes it largest newspaper in Ukraine.
According to earlier reports, the Verkhovna Rada committee for freedom of
speech and information has called on the Rada and journalists to protect the
Silski Visti newspaper from charges of kindling inter-ethnic hostility.
Earlier, the Batkivschyna Party called on the Verkhovna Rada, public, and
the international monitoring organizations and the opposition to protect the
newspaper. The Socialist Party accused the Presidential Administration of
exerting pressure upon Silski Visti with the aim to shut down its
The three opposition forces - Our Ukraine, Yuliya Tymoshenko bloc and the
Socialist Party - have already addressed to the Jewish Antifascist Committee
with demand to withdraw the lawsuit as publications of the Silski Visti have
nothing to do with inter-ethnic strife, if only the Committee wasn't
influenced by the Presidential Administration.
UKRAINIAN OPPOSITION DECRIES CLOSURE OF NEWSPAPER
Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian, 29 Jan 04
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, in English, Jan 29, 2004
Kiev, 29 January: Three Ukrainian opposition factions, Our Ukraine, the
Socialist Party and the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc, have issued a statement
regarding a court decision to close the Silski Visti newspaper [allegedly
linked to the Socialist Party], a member of the newspaper's board of
directors and Socialist Party member Ivan Bokyy has said.
The court decision will be included in the agenda of the Parliamentary
Assembly of the Council of Europe, he said in an interview with
Interfax-Ukraine today. In addition, opposition representatives "have
already held some consultations" with Western delegations, Bokyy said. The
closure of the newspaper could be "another reason" to approve sanctions
against Ukraine for violations in the areas of democracy and freedom of
Representatives of the newspaper are going to ask NGOs and political parties
for help, Bokyy said. Protest rallies against the closure of Silski Visti
are already being prepared in several regions of Ukraine, he said. In
addition, he expected that the newspaper's closure would be discussed with
international journalist organizations.
The editorial board of Silski Visti is going to appeal against the
Shevchenkivskyy district court's decision to close the publication, Bokyy
said. Under Ukrainian legislation, the editorial board can appeal against
the court decision within a month.
[Passage omitted: Newspaper is preparing an appeal, its arguments for
defence, details on the court ruling, see item entitled "Jewish leader
opposes paper's closure over anti-Semitism", UNIAN news agency, Kiev,
in Ukrainian 1042 gmt 29 Jan 04]
EMBATTLED UKRAINIAN DAILY, SILSKI VISTI, REJECTS
Novyy Kanal television, Kiev, in Ukrainian, 29 Jan 04
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, in English, Jan 29, 2004
[Presenter] Kiev's Shevchenkivskyy district court has ordered the closure of
one of Ukraine's most popular newspapers, Silski Visti [opposition newspaper
linked to the Socialist Party of Ukraine]. The court satisfied a suit by the
Jewish Antifascist Committee, which accused the newspaper of inciting ethnic
[Correspondent] Last autumn Silski Visti published an excerpt from the book
"Jews in Ukraine Today: Reality without Myths" penned by Vasyl Yaremenko, a
professor of the notorious Interregional Academy for Personnel Management,
who claims that the Ukrainian people are being ruled by Jews. The Silski
Visti editorial board has rejected all accusations of anti-Semitism. It says
the court ruling is an attempt to pressurize the mouthpiece of Ukrainian
[Vasyl Hruzin, captioned as Silski Visti editor-in-chief] The judge paid no
attention to who the author is, and nothing was said to the author.
Meanwhile, all the blame was pinned on us - that we are supposedly inciting
[Correspondent] One of the plaintiffs, the head of the united Jewish
community of Ukraine [and media mogul], Vadym Rabynovych, holds the
opposite view. He told Novyy Kanal by phone that Silski Visti's political
likings are the last thing he is interested in. He also plans to sue the
author of the article. The united Jewish community of Ukraine views
Yaremenko's articles as fascist.
[Eduard Dolynskyy, captioned as executive director of the united Jewish
community of Ukraine, in Russian] I fully agree with the court ruling
because it was exactly what we stated and what we asked the court to do. We
cannot be tolerant of attempts to sow animosity in our society. Otherwise we
would slide into fascism.
[Correspondent] For its part, Silski Visti promises to continue publication
because it will contest the Shevchenkivskyy court's ruling in a court of
YUSHCHENKO: SHUT DOWN OF "SILSKI VISTI" INDICATES
INCREASED PRESSURE ON OPPOSITION MEDIA
"Our Ukraine," Nasha Ukrayina Website, Kyiv, Ukraine, January 29, 2004
The leader of "Our Ukraine" Victor Yushchenko, commenting on yesterday's
ruling by the court in Shevchenko district of Kyiv to shut down "Silski
Visti" ("Rural News") newspaper, noted that such severe court ruling did not
surprise him. According to Yushchenko, that is not the first instance of
government pressure on oppositional publications.
"The government will get more and more upset with truthful information in
mass media the closer we get to elections and it will not be surprising to
see increased pressure at other oppositional publications," noted the leader
of "Our Ukraine." According to him, such persecution of "Silski Visti"
proves the government's weakness and the fact that it does not have any
other arguments left besides pressure and attempts to close down an
immensely popular publication. http://www.razom.org.ua
MEMBER OF THE EURASIAN JEWISH CONGRESS AND THE
RADA SAYS CLOSING OF NEWSPAPER A PLANNED
PROVOCATION OF THE PRESIDENTIAL ADMINISTRATION
UNIAN, Kyiv, Ukraine, January 29, 2004
KYIV......Vice-President of the Eurasian Jewish Congress, Supreme Rada
member Yevhen Chervonenko has called the decision of court to close "Silski
Visti" a "planned provocation of the Presidential administration against
In an interview to an UNIAN correspondent, Ye.Chervonenko underlined
"Silski Visti" is the most popular Ukraine's newspaper with the largest
circulation, and, in addition, supporting opposition.
In his words, the articles of MAUP professor Vasyl Yaremenko (because of
which the newspaper was closed) are "shameful", but they were published in
the newspaper as advertising. At the same time, he has said the newspaper
should apologize for this material, but it is not an occasion to close it.
According to the vice-chairman of the Eurasian Jewish Congress, in the given
case double standards have been applied, be cause nobody responds to and
closes TV-channels "1+1", "Inter", who call opposition leader V.Yushchenko a
"fascist", nobody responds to anti-Semite publications in "Professional"
The MP has underscored the struggle against anti-Semitism cannot be used for
struggle against freedom of speech.
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