9 March 2007
Journalist in Mykolaiv sues local authorities after being insulted, threatened and forced to resign
(IMI/IFEX) - The following is a statement from IMI, an interim member of IFEX:
The deputy editor-in-chief of the newspaper "Krivoozerstchina" (in the region of Mykolaev) has sued the governor and his administration. Stanislav Tchyrka decided to file a claim against public officials' arbitrary measures. The row was caused by an article the journalist published in "Krivoozerstchina". Governor Boris Kolovorotniy summoned Tchyrka to come and speak to him. His speech included many insults, threats and slanderous remarks.
"They called me a 'hack writer' and said my newspaper was the yellow press. The public officials forced me to sign my own resignation letter," said Stanislav Tchyrka. "The governor told me that the administration of the region had issued a motion of censure against me and he barred me from attending the working sessions of the local authorities."
Following this incident, the journalist found himself at the hospital. Tchyrka filed a complaint, demanding payment of 9,000 hryvnias (approx. US$1,800) for moral damages. The journalist said that if he wins the trial, he will give the money to the Berezkovskiy orphanage. He also demands payment of 600 hryvnias (approx. US$120) in damages to himself, which was the amount he paid for medicine at the hospital.