Afrique Ameriques Asie Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Ukraine11 August 2004

Sergiy Sholokh gets refugee status in US

11.08.04 - Sergiy Sholokh gets refugee status in US

Sergiy Sholokh, former head of Ukraine’s Radio Continent, has obtained refugee status in the United States, he announced on 10 August. He has lived in Poland for the past six months after being forced to leave Ukraine due to threats, many from the SBU state security police, and was given US refugee status on 6 August. His privately-owned opposition radio station was shut down on 3 March after re-broadcasting programmes put out by the Ukrainian service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE).


04.03.04 - Authorities silence Radio Continent and Radio Free Europe

Reporters Without Borders today condemned the action of the Ukrainian authorities in forcing privately-owned Radio Continent off the air yesterday by seizing its equipment. The move came just four days after the station began relaying the Ukrainian services of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE), and two weeks after RFE was pushed off the FM band in Ukraine.

The operation is clearly designed to silence two stations that are considered too critical of the government, the organisation said.

Reporters Without Borders and the Mass Media Institute had warned on 13 February that the decision to end FM retransmission of RFE in Ukraine was a worrying sign for press freedom, especially as it came just a few months before a presidential election.

Today, Reporters Without Borders called on the authorities to stop blocking Radio Continent’s broadcasts until the European Court of Human Rights issues a ruling on the dispute between the station and the government, which resulted in its losing its licence. The organisation also urged the authorities to take every necessary measure to ensure the safety of the station’s journalists.

The confiscation of Radio Continent’s transmitter and other equipment was carried out by police and officials from the state broadcasting agency, which assigns radio frequencies.

The station’s staff said the seizure was preceded by jamming of its signal, which began on 1 March, just two days after it began relaying RFE’s programming. Radio Continent general manager Sergiy Cholokh told the Mass Media Institute that he had received death threats from the SBU, the security service, which told him not to retransmit RFE.

Radio Continent also used to relay programmes of other foreign stations, including the BBC, Deutsche Welle, Voice of America and Polish Radio. It was stripped of its licence on 12 April 2001 on the grounds that it had not repaid a debt to the state. With the support of Reporters Without Borders and the Mass Media Institute, the station appealed to the European Court of Human Rights in June 2002 in an attempt to recover its licence.

Cholokh, who is also a witness in the investigation into the 2000 murder of journalist Georgiy Gongadze, has received many death threats and has been subjected to many other forms of harassment.

RFE is funded by the US congress. Its programming had been relayed on the FM band in Ukraine by a privately-owned radio station, Dovira, since 1998. But Dovira abruptly terminated the arrangement after a recent change of management.




  In this country
2 June - Ukraine
Potential witness’s death deals severe blow to probe into journalist’s murder
15 March - Ukraine
Three former policemen convicted of Gongadze murder but instigators have yet to identified
12 February - Ukraine
Gongadze murder trial resumes in Kiev
14 September - Ukraine
Political will lacking to solve Gongadze murder seven years after his death
27 August - Ukraine
Bomb hoax against Russian-language daily, photographer attacked

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

Europe press releases
4 June - Kosovo
Rrokum TV station still excluded by national broadcasting network
2 June - Turkey
Woman journalist held for past five weeks on baseless charge of link to armed group
2 June - Russia
Journalist seeks asylum in Finland after being convicted for prison torture articles
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

Reports
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
archives

Sign the petitions
Uzbekistan
Jusuf Ruzimuradov

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