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(Un)Civil Societies Report: July 27, 2000

27 July 2000, Volume 1, Number 11
HARASSMENT OF 'AZATLIQ' JOURNALIST SPARKS PROTESTS. Kebiran Dilaverli, a correspondent for the daily "Azatliq," was harassed on 17 July by the head of Kelbajar's District Police Department, Kocheri Aslanov, because of his efforts to report on a demonstration. Aslanov's insults were so extreme that other policemen urged him to apologize. A journalist trade union appealed to Prosecutor-General Zakir Qaralov to intervene, and on 18 July, editors and journalists met at the Baku Press club to issue an appeal against Aslanov. Among the signatories were editors of the newspapers "525-ci qezet," "Yeni Musavat," "Azadliq," "Zerkalo," "Uch noqte," "Avropa," "Bu gun," and the heads of the following journalist organizations: the Journalists' Trade Union, the Association of Journalists War Veterans, the "RUH" Committee to Protect Journalists, and the "Yeni Nesil" Journalists Union. (Journalists' Trade Union, 18 July)

BELARUS WANTS TO LOOK FOR MISSING CAMERAMAN WITHOUT MEDIA 'INTERFERENCE.' The Belarusian embassy in Moscow has released a statement saying that the Belarusian authorities are doing everything possible to find Dmitry Zavadski, a cameraman for Russian Public Television (ORT), who disappeared at the Minsk airport on 7 July. The statement also rejected the allegation that Zavadski was kidnapped by Belarusian secret services. "Zavadski is a Belarusian citizen, and the state itself, without interference from media that are doing nothing concrete to help the investigation but are only fomenting tension, is able to deal with the situation," the statement noted. ORT journalist Pavel Sheremet, whom Zavadski was to meet on 7 July, has said he fears that the Belarusian secret police have kidnapped Zavadski. Many independent commentators in Russia and Belarus share this apprehension, pointing to the former unsolved disappearances of Belarusian oppositionists. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 21 July)

BULGARIA HOPES TO HOST BALKAN MEDIA ACADEMY. Nikola Karadimov, Bulgaria's coordinator for the Stability Pact, told journalists on 19 July that his country proposes setting up a Balkan Media Academy in Sofia to operate under the aegis of the pact. Karadimov, who spoke ahead of a visit to Sofia by Stability Pact Coordinator Bodo Hombach, said the academy would help train journalists to work for independent media in the region. ("RFE/RL Balkan Report," 25 July)

DINE ASKS: 'DID WE EXPECT TOO MUCH FROM FREE MEDIA?' Writing in "The Wall Street Journal Europe" on 14-15 July, RFE/RL President Thomas A. Dine writes that: "Government attacks on independent media in the postcommunist world are becoming commonplace. They provide unintended testimony to the power of the free media to undermine those who would keep their societies in a state of unfreedom. But recent attacks also highlight the extreme fragility of free media in unfree or less than free societies. Because of the obvious and demonstrated power of free media to transform unfree societies, all too many people in both the post-Soviet states and in the West came to believe that nothing could prevent the domestic media from playing that raole, that democracy was secure, and that the future was one of unalloyed brightness."

NEW LITHUANIAN CENTER TO FOCUS ON HUMAN RIGHTS. The Vilnius Center for Critical Projects has been organized to encourage young scholars to engage in a systematic critique of political and social institutions and their practices and to intervene in the human rights process. It awaits responses from similar organizations in Europe and the United States. Contact Patricia Droblyte, director of the Centre for Critical Projects, e-mail: for Civil Society International, 19 July).

JAILED KYRGYZ JOURNALIST FREED. Moldosaly Ibraimov, a journalist from Djalalabad in southern Kyrgyzstan, was released from jail on 21 July following an appeal to the Djalalabad Oblast court, according to an Internews press release. Ibraimov had been sentenced and fined 107,000 soms ($2,250) on 19 June for an article he published in the newspaper "Akikat" last April. That article detailed rumors that a district judge had accepted a bribe for ruling in favor of a specific candidate in a dispute over the outcome of the February-March parliamentary elections (see "RFE/RL Kyrgyz Report," 30 June 2000). The court reduced his fine to 10,000 soms. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 24 July)

ARTICLE 19 CRITIQUES DRAFT PUBLIC INFORMATION LAW. Article 19, a media watchdog group, said that the draft Macedonian Law on Public Information represents a significant improvement over past laws and practices and, if passed, would largely bring Macedonia's law in this area into line with international standards. But the group noted that the draft still includes a number of features which are in breach of international standards in this area and other features which, while not necessarily formally in breach of international law, are unnecessary or could be improved. (Article 19, 19 July)

MACEDONIAN ALBANIANS RALLY FOR TETOVO UNIVERSITY. Some 1,000 ethnic Albanians held a rally in central Skopje on 18 July to demand that the parliament make the underground Tetovo Albanian-language university a full-fledged state institution (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 17 July 2000). Dean Fadil Sulejmani said a compromise put forward by the OSCE to make the university an accredited but private institution is "unacceptable," Reuters reported. The opposition Party of Democratic Prosperity organized the rally. The question of Tetovo University is one of the most acrimonious in Macedonian politics. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 19 July)

RUSSIAN SECRET POLICE WON'T GIVE UP ON NIKITIN. Despite being rebuffed four times by various courts, the office of the Russian prosecutor-general has asked Russia's highest court to allow it to reopen his case. Nikitin was acquitted by the St. Petersburg City Court in December 1999, and that verdict was confirmed on appeal on 17 April by a three-judge panel of the Supreme Court. The City Court had previously criticized the investigators -- Russia's secret police and KGB successor FSB -- for shoddy work and rejected the indictment in October 1998, a finding the Supreme Court also upheld in February 1999. The verdicts in favor of the former submarine captain vindicated his work of mapping the dramatic nuclear situation in northwest Russia for the Bellona Foundation against the treason charges of the state security apparatus. Nikitin arrived in the United States last week to receive his 1997 Goldman award, often called the "Nobel Prize for the Environment." He met with a number of members of Congress, as well as State Department and Clinton administration officials. Additional information about his case can be found at (CivilSoc mailing list, 19 July)

ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS UNDER ATTACK IN RUSSIA. Aleksandr Nikitin told an RFE/RL press breakfast in Washington on 19 July that the environmental movement which played a key role in the rise of Russian civil society is now under attack. He made his remarks just 24 hours after the office of the Russian prosecutor-general requested that that country's Supreme Court reopen his case, even though the Supreme Court had recently upheld a lower court decision which found him innocent of all charges. Nikitin sharply criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to "liquidate" the two most important government environmental agencies. He suggested that Putin had done so to allow the oligarchs to profit from the unrestricted exploitation of Russia's resources. At the same time, Nikitin said, the Russian authorities have used the Justice Ministry to deny re-registration to environmental groups; the office of the prosecutor general to investigate environmentalists and to charge people on the basis of secret legislation and decrees; the tax police to harass these individuals and groups; as well as the intelligence services to track their activities. In the face of such attacks--which he said transcended environmental issues to become a human rights question--Nikitin noted that environmentalists are fighting back, using lawyers to try to force the Russian government to live up to its own constitution and laws and organizing a referendum to oppose the further destruction of the country's already much-damaged environment. ("RFE/RL Briefing Report," 20 July)

BABITSKY TALKS ABOUT FREEDOM AND CAPTIVITY. "I always had a sense that even colossal, dramatic events could change if a journalist were to tell the truth about what is happening," RFE/RL correspondent Andrei Babitsky told Committee to Protect Journalists Vice Chairman Terry Anderson on 12 July. Babitsky, who reports for Radio Liberty, was captured and held for 40 days as a result of his reporting on the war in Chechnya. Anderson was kidnapped in Lebanon and held for many months before being released several years ago. Babitsky is now in Moscow but authorities are restricting his travel. On 4 July, he was formally charged with carrying a false passport. He is expected to go on trial in August. The two journalists spoke about their common experiences of war reporting and of being kidnapped and held in captivity. For the complete interview, see: (Committee to Protect Journalists, 19 July).

ADMINISTRATION 'PRIVATIZES' FEDERAL TELEVISION. Earlier this year, journalists from the Penza State Television and Radio Company (PGTRK, the regional branch of Russian Television and Radio) sent a letter to Governor Vasilii Bochkarev complaining that PGTRK head Igor Lebedev is using federal resources to ensure that a private local television channel, Ekspress, flourishes at the expense of its federal counterpart, "Izvestiya" reported on 4 July. Local officials assured the journalists that their complaints would be dealt with, but by the beginning of this month, the only development was that the letter's authors began to be fired. Those former PGTRK employees told "Izvestiya" that among other things, Levov's deputy, Dmitri Kulikov, who heads both the advertising department of PGTRK and the private advertising agency Avtograf, regulated advertising contracts so that "the coffers of the state channel emptied in a flash, while Ekspress began to flourish." Moreover, both Levov and Kulikov have regularly used materials produced by PGTRK journalists for broadcasting on Ekspress--"without receiving the authors' permission [and] without paying any honorarium." Levov refused to comment on the assertion that he has used federal resources to create a private, gubernatorial television company, saying only that the information exchange between PGTRK and Ekspress is "mutual" and that the authors of the letter to Bochkarev left PGTRK on their own accord. ("RFE/RL Russian Federation Report," 19 July)

TSARIST PRETENDER GOES ONLINE. Pretenders to the throne of imperial Russia have a new outlet to advance their cause: a website at "Kommersant-Daily" reported on 18 July. Visitors to the site can see a photo of self-proclaimed Tsar Nikolai III Alekseevich Romanov-Dalskii, the supposed son of Tsarevich Aleksei Romanov and the Orenburg Princess Antonina Aleksandrovna. Most historians believe Aleksei, the only son of Nikolai II, was killed along with the rest of his family in Yekaterinburg, but according to this website, Aleksei and Princess Antonina "spent the years during the Red Terror hiding under the name 'Dalskii.'" Petitioners wishing to appeal to his majesty need only click on the icon "E-mail Nikolai III" to be directly connected to his address, ("RFE/RL Newsline," 19 July).

'RUSSIAGATE' AFTERMATH CONTINUES. Two weeks ago a group calling itself FreeLance Bureau posted secret dossiers of 140 prominent Russian journalists, politicians, celebrities, and business tycoons on its website. Among them are those for Aleksei II, patriarch of Russia's Orthodox Church; Justice Minister Yuri Chaika; and influential media and oil tycoon Boris Berezovsky to Jonas Bernstein, a Moscow-based American journalist who writes for "The Washington Times" newspaper. The posted material includes 600 surveillance reports, transcripts of phone conversations, pager records, and researched "biographies" of the subjects. All of the information is at least two years old. "We did this to illustrate the methods of the security services and to warn people of how widespread domestic spying really is," said Aleksei Chesnakov, one of the three former journalists who posted the data on the FreeLance Bureau site. "We consider it our professional duty to make these materials public, a service to our country and our readers," he said. Chesnakov says all the materials were gathered by private security firms and not by official police forces or successor agencies of the former Soviet KGB. However, he adds, the group purchased the whole package from a serving officer of a state intelligence service that he refused to name. "Virtually all banks and big businesses in Russia have their own private security firms gathering kompromat--compromising materials--on their competitors, on politicians, on just about anyone who might be pressured or smeared to the benefit of the company," says Pavel Yevdokimov, deputy editor of "Spetznaz Rossiya," a sort of weekly trade journal for Russia's special services. ("Christian Science Monitor," 19 July)

ARE FOREIGN MISSIONARIES BEING DRIVEN OUT OF RUSSIA? A significant number of foreign Christian missionaries have been expelled from Russia, with an increased number over the past year, the Keston News Service reported. Other missionaries are being obstructed in their work. Cases documented by Keston range from the mass expulsion of seven American adults and their 11 children to the obstruction of a public lecture on C.S. Lewis. Several of the missionaries barred from Russia commented to Keston that they were unable to obtain an explanation for their exclusion, while the procedure followed by the authorities in reaching a decision to bar entry is unclear. "Increasing restrictions on foreign missionaries are often an indicator of increasing restrictions on religious freedom in general," Keston Institute Director Lawrence Uzzel says. "Much of the hostility towards foreign missionaries comes from local officials whose job was to keep religion in check during the Soviet era," adds Keston's Moscow correspondent Geraldine Fagan. "But behind these officials often stands the FSB, the successor to the KGB, who appears to regard the foreign missionary presence in Russia as a serious threat to state security." Russia's National Security Concept, signed by then acting President Vladimir Putin last January, highlighted what it termed the "negative influence of foreign missionaries in the country." "Many missionaries just keep quiet when they are expelled," Fagan adds, "fearing that other projects their missions are undertaking or the activity of the congregations they have been working with will be threatened." Denied entry to Russia on three occasions last year, U.S. Protestant missionary Dan Pollard--who founded and led a church in the Pacific coastal region of Khabarovsk Krai--told Keston that he has encountered anger from local religious officials because "I have not left quietly like so many other missionaries." Pollard believes that Russia will force out all foreign missionaries within the next 10 years. Keston notes that not all missionaries are encountering problems--some continue to engage in high-profile ministry in Russia without difficulty. (Keston Institute Press Release, 19 July)

BEREZOVSKII, GUSINSKII NEWSPAPERS SAY MEDIA CRACKDOWN COMING... "Segodnya," which is owned by Vladimir Gusinskii's Media-MOST group, reported on 20 July that the Kremlin is planning to submit legislation to the State Duma this fall that will make laws governing media behavior "stiffer and may even affect some foreign media operating in Russia." That report follows an article published the previous day in Boris Berezovskii's "Novye izvestiya" about the existence of a Security Council program for "the restoration of order in the informational sphere." The Security Council called the report fictional, but according to unidentified sources cited by "Segodnya," such a plan exists and was authored by officials in the Federal Security Service. The plan was allegedly leaked by presidential administration head Aleksandr Voloshin. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 21 July)

...AS PRESIDENTIAL ENVOYS OFFER CONFLICTING STORIES. Meanwhile, presidential representative to the Central federal district, Georgii Poltavchenko, also dismissed allegations about a new stricter media policy, telling reporters on 20 July that reports about the Security Council's plans to clamp down on the media are "rubbish." As a presidential envoy to a federal district, Poltavchenko is also a member of the Security Council. He noted that he attended the meeting of that body at which various aspects of state and information security were discussed and that "no questions connected with the establishment of loyal media, including in the regions, were raised." However, another presidential envoy, Viktor Cherkesov, told journalists on 7 July that a new broadcast doctrine being developed by the Kremlin should "seriously change the information environment," adding he plans to launch a television station for his entire Northwest federal district (see "RFE/RL Russian Federation Report," 12 July 2000). Cherkesov is a former Federal Security Service first deputy director. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 21 July)

MOSCOW DEMANDS THAT BAKU INVESTIGATE TRANSMISSION OF BASAEV INTERVIEW. Russian Security Council Secretary Sergei Ivanov has demanded that Azerbaijan officials investigate the showing an interview with Chechen field commander Shamil Basaev on Baku TV channel ANS. According to diplomatic sources in Moscow, Azerbaijani officials have promised to undertake an appropriate investigation. (MPA News Agency, 19 July)

FAMILIES OF DEAD SERBIAN JOURNALISTS SUE STATE TV BOSSES. Belgrade lawyer Slobodan Sisic has filed lawsuits on behalf of 12 families against Serbian Television Director Dragoljub Milanovic, editor-in-chief Milorad Komrakov, Administrative Board chairman Vukasin Jokanovic, and several other people, "Danas" reported on 19 July. The families say that the officials knew that NATO was planning to attack the state television building in April 1999 but did nothing to warn the staff. The air strike left 16 dead and 18 injured. State television has been one of the main pillars of Milosevic's rule. In response to the families' lawsuit, Justice Minister Dragoljub Jankovic said that NATO, not the Belgrade authorities, are responsible for the deaths. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 19 July)

BOSNIAN SERB INFORMATION CHIEF QUITS. Republika Srpska Information Minister Rajko Vasic resigned on 18 July following criticism by several representatives of the international community of his alleged interference in the appointment of officials of Bosnian Serb television, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported. Prime Minister Milorad Dodik accepted the resignation. "Dnevni avaz" wrote that the Information Ministry will in any case soon be abolished. Unnamed representatives of the international community have repeatedly called for the ministry's abolition on the grounds that democratic countries do not have such ministries. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 19 July)

SESELJ LASHES OUT AT INDEPENDENT MEDIA. Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Vojislav Seselj said in Belgrade on 20 July that independent and anti-government media "must disappear from the political stage," the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" reported. He called unspecified independent journalists "foreign spies" and their editorial boards "foreign spy agencies." It is not clear what concrete measures, if any, Seselj or the government plan to take and against whom they might be directed. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 21 July)

RFE/RL PRESIDENT SLAMS BELGRADE DECISION ON BROADCASTER. Thomas A. Dine on 20 July sharply criticized Yugoslavia's decision to declare RFE/RL activities in that country illegal as both a violation of international law and an indication of the desperation of the Milosevic regime. "Only a government afraid of the truth would try to prevent our journalists from gathering and disseminating information," Dine said in Prague. "We will do everything in our power to protect our journalists and to make sure that they can continue to do their important work." Dine's comments came in reaction to a letter from Yugoslav Information Minister Goran Matic to Nenad Pejic, the director of RFE/RL's South Slavic Service. In that letter, which was a response to Pejic's request to register RFE/RL's bureau in Belgrade, Matic said his government views RFE/RL not as an objective journalistic organization but as a propaganda arm of the NATO coalition against Yugoslavia. "Both Yugoslav journalists and the Yugoslav people know the value of our work," Dine argued. "We will not let them down." ("RFE/RL Newsline," 21 July)

MARKOVIC ACCUSES DUVE OF MEDIA AGGRESSION. Yugoslav Telecommunications Minister Ivan Markovic on 15 July accused the OSCE representative for media freedom, Freimut Duve, of involvement in what Markovic said was U.S. media aggression against Yugoslavia financed by the Central Intelligence Agency. In a strongly worded response to a report recently submitted by Duve on increased state repression against non-government media, Markovic said that freedom did not need a representative and that the Yugoslav authorities would use all possible means to oppose the latest aggression. Markovic also reiterated his earlier allegations that the government of Montenegro and the Republic of Srpska were actively involved in U.S. media aggression against Yugoslavia. The minister signed his reply, "Without respect, Ivan Markovic." (ANEM Report, 15 July)

MARKOVIC: YUGOSLAVIA TO DEFEND MEDIA SOVEREIGNTY. Yugoslavia's neighbors were involved in media aggression against the country, federal Telecommunications Minister Ivan Markovic said on 17 July. Markovic, speaking at a Yugoslav United Left meeting in Rakovica, said that the state authorities would defend Yugoslav media sovereignty by every available means. (ANEM Report, 18 July)

MATIC SAYS NEW STRATEGIES IN STORE FOR MEDIA. The government is preparing new strategies for settling the score with independent media in Serbia, the chairman of ANEM, Veran Matic, has predicted. Speaking to Novi Sad Radio 021, Matic said that the regime's attention was at present focused on independent newspapers. Some of these have been unable to obtain newsprint for some time and were now reduced to printing on paper of a quality no longer seen in newspapers even in the most remote areas of Russia. "Recent moves by the regime show that repression of independent media will be stepped up as the regime tries to tighten the political space before this year's elections," said Matic. (ANEM Report, 15 July)

OSCE WARNS DITA AGAIN. The OSCE mission in Kosova on 14 July said that the organization believed it was necessary to remind Dita and all Kosovar newspapers once again that the purpose of the recently published temporary decree on print media was to provide protection for all Kosovar citizens from trial by media, which had been obvious in recent articles published by "Dita." The organization also noted that all citizens had the right to have criminal allegations against them investigated by a proper legal body and the right not to have unconfirmed suspicions published by the press, particularly not when full personal details were also published. (ANEM Report, 15 July)

FAMILIES OF BOMB VICTIMS TO SUE EUROPEAN GOVERNMENTS. The families of five victims of NATO's bomb attack on Radio Television Serbia last year have laid charges against European governments in the European Court of Human Rights, the "Sunday Times" wrote on 16 July. The Colchester law firm Fisher Jones and Greenwood, which has been engaged in the case, said that both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch believed there was sufficient evidence to demonstrate that European governments had committed war crimes by bombing a non-military target. Meanwhile, the families of Radio Television Serbia employees killed in last year's bomb attack on the state broadcaster filed charges on 18 July against eight senior Radio Television executives (see item above). (ANEM Report, 17-18 July)

HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYERS PROTEST MEDIA RESTRICTIONS. The Yugoslav Committee of Human Rights Lawyers on 16 July protested to the presidents, governments, and parliaments of Yugoslavia and Serbia against recent decisions to prevent independent media from covering the work of state bodies. In a letter, the committee demanded that this discrimination against journalists cease, describing it as contrary to the Yugoslav and Serbian Constitutions and the Public Information Act and alleging that such a violation of human rights constituted a criminal act. Meanwhile, the Media Centre Press Club held a forum on 17 July on the topic "Authorities versus the public." Speakers at the forum noted that the banning of certain journalists from reporting parliament sessions was unconstitutional and illegal. The forum decided that private media were able to boycott the work of certain parties, but that state media, whose work was financed from public funds, were not, and that the work of state bodies was public and should be accessible by all media. (ANEM Report, 17-18 July)

MARKOVIC DENOUNCES MEDIA AS SERVANTS OF 'DARK REGIME.' Ivan Markovic, Federal Minister for Telecommunications, told the Yugoslav United Left on 18 July that independent media in Yugoslavia are "media of a dark regime in the service of a non-nation, a regime which wants to sidestep elections to replace the authorities elected by the people." He read a list of independent media invited to the meeting, saying that the Yugoslav Left would always invite journalists from these broadcasters and publishers in order to help them because nobody was so bad that they were beyond help. (ANEM Report, 19 July)

SUSA REJECTS MARKOVIC OFFER. The president of the Independent Association of Serbian Journalists, Gordana Susa, on 20 July described as scandalous Ivan Markovic's invitation for the independent media to "cross over to the side of their nation" and "join the patriotic front." Susa told Beta yesterday that the invitation displayed the essential inability to differentiate between the mutually exclusive terms of professional and propaganda journalism. The Yugoslav Left, she said, was "the party which first claimed that the university must not be ideologized and immediately afterwards established the Committee of the University Left." Now, said Susa, the party was trying to do something similar in the field of journalism by calling on independent media to join the "journalists" of the Yugoslav Left. She added that it was understandable if someone wanted to work in propaganda journalism but that Markovic, as the federal minister for telecommunications, should be able to differentiate. (ANEM Report, 20 July)

'BLIC' AND 'GLAS JAVNOSTI' RUNNING OUT OF PAPER. Belgrade's most popular non-government daily newspapers, "Blic" and "Glas javnosti," are exhausting their paper supplies, Beta reported on 20 July. The two still have not received supplies of paper from Matroz, Serbia's only newsprint manufacturer, and the Federal Ministry of Telecommunications refuses to grant them an import license. Most independent print media, including "Danas," "Vreme," and "NIN," have had problems with paper supplies for the past two weeks. (ANEM Report, 20 July)

KRAGUJEVAC TELEVISION CREW ATTACKED. Unknown assailants attacked a five-member television crew from Radio Television Kragujevac on 16 July, the broadcaster's director, Radisa Rankovic, reported. The attackers, armed with a baton, poles, and brushes, tried to take the cameraman's tapes on the assumption that he had been filming them. In the ensuing brawl, the cameraman was struck and a woman journalist was slapped. The incident ended with the arrival of a police patrol, at which point the assailants fled. The station has broadcast a recorded reconstruction of the events. The same material has been shown to representatives of media associations. ANEM representative Momcilo Djuric warned that the coming days could bring increased attacks on free media throughout Yugoslavia, especially local television stations. (ANEM Report, 20 July)

KYIV DENIES MOSCOW'S ALLEGATION OF ENCOURAGING ANTI-RUSSIAN SENTIMENTS. Deputy Foreign Minister Oleksandr Maydannyk on 18 July told Aleksei Sazonov, charge d'affaires at the Russian embassy, that Ukraine "resolutely refutes" the allegation that Kyiv is encouraging anti-Russian sentiment in the country, Interfax reported. That allegation was made a day earlier by Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Ivan Aboimov (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 18 July 2000). The ministry's press service told Interfax that "the Russian side's speculations connected with the so-called protection of the Russian language and culture in Ukraine are inadmissible." According to the ministry, some Russian media and politicians have distorted the real situation in Lviv following the tragic death of Ukrainian composer Ihor Bilozir in order to launch "yet another" anti-Ukrainian propaganda campaign. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 19 July)

HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS DEBATE REPORTERS. On 12-13 May, human rights activists and reporters debated the issue of media control at a conference in Perm organized by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. Participants grappled with the following issues: the role of mass media in totalitarian and democratic societies; the extent of people's confidence in journalists; whether mass media without censorship is freedom or if it generates anarchy; and whether a journalist's work is an occupation or mission; and about journalists ethics--utopia or reality. The participants in the discussion also touched upon the topic of violence and aggression in reporting by journalists. (Chronicle 7, May 2000)

CEE/NIS JOURNALISTS INVITED TO PRAGUE WORKSHOP. Project Syndicate, a non-profit newspaper network, is planning a two-week business news writing workshop for print journalists from Central and Eastern Europe and from Newly Independent States (CEE/NIS). The workshop will be held from 4-15 September at the Prague School of Economics in the Czech capital. It will be conducted in partnership with the Reuters Foundation, the World Bank Institute, and the APA Press Foundation, according to Josh LaPorte, regional program director at the Project Syndicate, reported by IJNet. The workshop's program includes highly-specialized reporting on financial markets, international financial relations, and economic policy for transitional countries. English language ability is required. The deadline for application is 12 August. To apply, send a curriculum vitae/resume, motivational letter, and three story clippings (with summary in English) to Josh LaPorte at: Fax: (420-2) 6122 0083. Tel.: (420-2) 6121 7004. (International Journalists Network, 17-21 July)

RUSSIAN ENVIRONMENTAL DIGEST. Russian Environmental Digest (REDfiles) is a compilation of the week's major English-language press on environmental issues in Russia. REDfiles is distributed by Transboundary Environmental Information Agency, and welcomes comments to Elena Vassilieva at: REDfiles subscription information: To subscribe, send an e-mail to with "subscribe redfiles" in the body of the message. (Transboundary Environmental Information Agency, 19 July)

MEDIA IN THE CIS NEWSLETTER LAUNCHED. The European Institute for the Media launched a newsletter on media developments in the Commonwealth of Independent States. The newsletter contains information grouped into five categories for each country: media news, media and government, media law, media conferences, and new media technology. It is produced as part of the European Institute for the Media's program "Media for Democracy in the CIS (2000-2003)." To receive the newsletter, contact Ljudmila von Berg, Media and Democracy Program administrator, (European Institute for the Media)

A GUIDE TO EU FUNDING FOR NGOS. The 204-page guide "Your way through the labyrinth," is now in its sixth edition and covers funds available nationally to NGOs through the EU's social, regional, and rural development funds, European-level funding, and assistance programs for countries outside the union. This is the first publication providing a focal point for all funding opportunities for the non-profit sector in 2000. The guide begins with an analysis of the commission's vade mecum on grant management and some additional advice. Information on how to get the guide can be found at: (Eldar Zeynalov 18 July)

COMMANDER ISLANDS WEBSITE. Vladimir Sevostianov, president and founder of the Commander Islands (Komandorskiye Ostrova) and B.C. Nature Protection and Conservation Association, recently launched a new website devoted to Kamchatka's Commander Islands. The site provides information on the islands' natural environment, as well as the problems that the islands currently face and appeals for cooperation and support in preservation of this unique ecosystem. The website is at: (Center for Civil Society International, 17 July)