Press release, Kirkenes, Murmansk, Luleå, Oulu, September 29th 2015
On Monday 28th of September, Thomas Nilsen was fired from his position as chief editor of the online news site BarentsObserver by the owners of the Norwegian Barents Secretariat, the three Northern Norwegian county administrations.
STATEMENT FROM BARENTS PRESS INTERNATIONAL, CONCERNING THE RESTRICTION OF BARENTSOBSERVERS' EDITORIAL FREEDOM
Mayor of Murmansk is refused excitation of slander criminal case
The conflict between the mayor of Murmansk and the editor of "Vecherka" has not received judicial continuation. Investigatory management has not found in Natalia Chervjakova's statements about attempts to use censorship anything reprehensible.
It seems the conflict between mayor Sergey Subbotin and the editor-in-chief of the newspaper "Evening Murmansk" Natalia Chervjakova has ended with nothing. The press-service of Investigatory management of the Russian Federations in Murmansk area has informed that the decision about refusal in criminal case excitation against Chervjakova. Inspectors have not found crime structure in her acting.
The event that took place in the beginning of April is possible to be named the scandal of month. On April 12 there was an urgent press conference for representatives of all mass-media of Murmansk. The editor-in-chief of "Evening Murmansk» - the official newspaper of administration - Natalia Chervjakova declared that mayor Sergey Subbotin interfered with the publication of a critical material, and also threatened her and the editorial body of the newspaper in case of insubordination. The article «All to court?» started the conflict. It sayd that the city authorities do not execute the government requirement and do not make recalculation for people in Murmansk for heating for 2009. The publication was planned for April, 6th.
Natalia Chervjakova informed that she had put in the statement in law enforcement bodies against the mayor. Subbotin, in turn, admitted that he had audio recording of conversation with the editor-in-chief.
On April, 27th Investigatory management of the Russian Federation in Murmansk area informed about not having found signs of threats and pressure upon the press by the town governor, therefore excitation of criminal case is refused. Then the mayor declared that events had provocative character.
– And I know what this provocation was prepared for - to simplify my discharging from the post. My counter claim upon slander is now considered. And I am sure in this case the law will be firm, - Sergey Subbotin informed representatives of Murmansk mass-media.
However no criminal case was raised after Subbotin's statement. The situation turned out to be a bit strange — the editor-in-chief publicly accused the mayor of threats. He gave statements refuting these and the case against him was not open. But if he proved being he innocet then Natalia Chervjakova had slandered him. And in a result her actions were not found as contradicting laws.
We have addressed for explanations to the Investigatory management, but they refused to give any comments.
Larissa Saljaeva, murmansk.kp.ru
Photo: Elena Kovalenko