Afrique Ameriques Asie Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Russia2 June 2004

NTV journalist sacked and programme dropped

NTV journalist Leonid Parfenov was sacked on 1 June and his weekly programme dropped by the TV station. Management said he had broken his contract by not keeping to the station’s editorial line. He had told the media that an earlier decision to limit broadcasting of the programme had been taken "at the request of the security services." An interview with the widow of former Chechen President Zelimkhan Iandarbiev and a report on the trial of two Russian agents accused of killing him were not broadcast in western Russia.


Reporters Without Borders expressed concern today about cancellation by TV station NTV of an interview with the widow of former Chechen President Zelimkhan Iandarbiev and a report on the trial of two Russian agents accused of killing him.

"In view of the total censorship of all news of any kind about Chechnya, we are concerned about this latest move by NTV," it said, noting the station was taken over by the government in 2001.

The weekly programme "Namedni" was broadcast in eastern Russia on 30 May but banned from being shown in European Russia by the deputy head of the station, Alexander Gerassimov. NTV spokesman Grigory Simanovich said it was a "company decision," but the programme’s presenter, Leonid Parfenov, said his superior had acted "at the request of the security services."

The incident was reported by the weekly Kommersant, which reproduced an internal NTV note announcing the cancellation. The interview contained no new political material. Mrs Malika Iandarbieva described the physical appearance of one of the Russian defendants and recited a poem written by her husband.

Iandarbiev was assassinated in Qatar in February this year and two Russians, suspected of being secret policemen, are on trial in Qatar, where the Iandarbievs had lived since the second Chechen war began in 1999.

NTV chief Nikolai Senkevich had cancelled a broadcast of "Namedni" in the Moscow region a few hours before it was due to go out on 17 November 2003. The programme featured a book about the Kremlin since President Vladimir Putin had come to power, written by journalist Elena Tregubova. Senkevich said nobody forced him to drop the programme and that the book was too crude for the programme. Tregubova and "Namedni" editor Andrei Shilov said it was a political move.

The state firm Gazprom took control in April 2001 of NTV, flagship of the Media-Most group and until then the only independent nationwide TV station in the Russian Federation.

  In this country
2 June - Russia
Journalist seeks asylum in Finland after being convicted for prison torture articles
1 May - Russia
Newspaper editor in coma after latest case of violence against journalists
10 April - Russia
Prosecutors say Novaya Gazeta journalist’s mysterious death was not murder
1er April - Russia
Local newspaper reporter dies two days after beating, human rights activist attacked outside Moscow home
16 March - Russia
Official issued Politkovskaya killer with fake passport

in the annual report
Russia - Annual Report 2008
Russia - Annual report 2007
Russia - 2006 Annual report

Europe press releases
4 June - Kosovo
Rrokum TV station still excluded by national broadcasting network
2 June - Ukraine
Potential witness’s death deals severe blow to probe into journalist’s murder
2 June - Turkey
Woman journalist held for past five weeks on baseless charge of link to armed group
29 May - France
Regrettable decision by appeal court to lift ban on magazine only if offending photo is covered up
28 May - Azerbaijan
Court breaks law by refusing to release journalist on health grounds

5 February 2009 - Bulgaria
“Resignation or resistance, Bulgaria’s embattled press hesitates”
28 January 2009 - Russia
Fact-finding visit : Moscow double murder may have been linked to November attack on local newspaper editor
27 June 2008 - Turkey
Investigation report into the detention of journalist Haci Bogatekin, imprisoned for more than two months and facing ten and a half years in prison

Sign the petitions
Jusuf Ruzimuradov

Europe archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives