7 April 1995

Alert

Trial pending for Russian journalist Stanislav Mitskevich




Source: Journalists Union of Russia, Moscow




A trial is pending in the case of the 67 year old journalist of
Russian origin Stanislav Mitskevich. Mitskevich, a Russian
citizen and retired journalist, began working as editor-in-chief
of the Russian language services of the radio station Sovetskaya
Litva (Soviet Lithuania) in Vilnius, Lithuania in 1990. He edited
and translated material from Lithuanian into Russian for
broadcasts.
When in January 1991 communist leaders formed the National
Salvation Committee (NSC), Mitskevich, apart from editing other
news items and commentaries, edited Russian translations of NSC
material as part of his items for broadcast. When leaders of the
NSC were arrested, Mitskevich was interrogated, but no charges
were brought against him at the time. However, on the day when
Lithuania declared its independence, a criminal suit was brought
against him under Article 70 of the Lithuanian Criminal Code for
"participation in an underground organization." He was accused of
"being a member of the NSC" on the grounds that "his editing
marks had been found on materials of the NSC which were kept in
the radio station." The IFJ points out, however, that the editing
of the material was a part of his job and cannot be considered
proof of his participation in the NSC's activities. Mitskevich's
request to examine the documents in question has been denied by
investigators. The Russian Federal Assembly delegation which
visited Lithuania was denied a meeting with Mitskevich. Although
Mitskevich is not under arrest, he is forced to remain in
Vilnius.

RECOMMENDED ACTIONS:
Please write to the Lithuanian authorities:
-asking that Stanislav Mitskevich be granted a fair and prompt
trial according to standards laid out in international law, and
that all charges against him be dropped unless they can be
properly substantiated or he can be charged with a recognizably
criminal offence

Appeals To



His Excellency Algirdas Brazauskas
President of the Republic of Lithuania
Office of the President
Gedimino 53
Vilnius, Lithuania
Fax: +3702 614 829







Recommended Action










Source

International Federation of Journalists
International Press Centre, Residence Palace
Bloc C, second floor, Rue de la Loi, 155
1040 Brussels, Belgium

Fax:+ 32 2 2352219
Lithuania
 
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