23 July 1996

Alert

CPJ receives reply to appeals on behalf of detained journalist Valery Yerofeyev; continued concerns




**Updates IFEX alerts dated 10 July and 19 June 1996**

Below is a translation from Russion of the Russian Ministry of
Internal Affairs' reply to CPJ's letter on Samara journalist
Valery Yerofeyev, whose trial on fabricated charges resumed on 8
July 1996 (see IFEX alerts). Following that is the full text of
CPJ's response.




Similar appeals can continue to be sent to Russian authorities,
taking note of the corrected title for Col. Gen. Anatoly Kulikov.

Appeals To



His Excellency Yuri Skuratov
Procurator General
Moscow, Russia
Fax: +7 095 292 8848 or +7 095 925 1879




Col. Gen. Anatoly Kulikov
Russian Federation Minister of Internal Affairs
Ministry of Internal Affairs
Moscow, Russia
Fax: +7 095 230 2580




Konstantin Titov
Governor of Samara Region
Fax: +7 8462 323 330

Vyacheslav Kazakov
Samara Region Public Prosecutor
Fax: +7 8462 324 055




The two letters follow:

FROM:

Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation
Investigative Committee

Moscow
July 11, 1996

To: William A. Orme
Executive Director
Committee to Protect Journalists
Re: Review of Letter

Dear Mr. Orme:

"Your letter concerning the defense of journalist Valery Yerofeyev
from unfounded persecution was received by the Russian Federation
Ministry of Internal Affairs and was assigned for review to the
Investigative Committee of the Ministry.

"It was established that on April 15, 1996, the prosecutor of the
city of Samara closed the investigation into the criminal case of
charges against A.N. Yemelyanov, V.V. Yerofeyev and others for
commission of a number of crimes, including maintaining a house of
prostitution and pandering.

"At the present time the criminal case is being handled by the
People's Court of the Promyshlenny District in the city of Samara,
which has jurisdiction over the decision on the question of the
guilt of Yerofeyev and others."

Deputy Director

[Signature]

A.N. Rodionov

******

CPJ RESPONSE:

July 22, 1996

SENT BY FAX: 011-7-095-230-2580

A.N. Rodionov
Investigative Committee
Russian Federation
Ministry of Internal Affairs

"Dear Mr. Rodionov,

"Thank you for your prompt review and response to our July 10
letter expressing concern about the case of Samara journalist
Valery Yerofeyev, which we received by fax on July 18.

"While we welcome your oversight of this case, we note that your
letter appears to be a mere restatement of the facts already known
about the case. You write that Valery Yerofeyev is accused of the
crime of pandering.

"As we stated in our letter, the Committee to Protect Journalists
is concerned that the charges against Yerofeyev were falsified in
retaliation for his series of articles on prostitution, "People on
Sidewalks," published in 1995 in Vremya-Iks. Inexplicably, his
case has been linked to the murder case against publisher Oleg
Malygin, who has given testimony against Yerofeyev in a plea-
bargain. There are further allegations that underaged prostitutes
were coerced into giving testimony against Yerofeyev by local
policemen disgruntled with Yerofeyev's expose of their corruption.
No hard evidence in support of the charges has been supplied in
the courtroom and your letter makes no reference to any such
evidence. The prolonged pre-trial detention and the closing of the
trial sessions to the public also appear unwarranted given the
nature of the charges, which are for a non-violent crime unrelated
to national security.

"The Committee to Protect Journalists, a non-partisan organization
devoted to protecting its colleagues around the world, fears that
Mr. Yerofeyev may be suffering reprisals for his journalistic
work. We urge you to investigate carefully the prosecution of
Yerofeyev, to ensure that the trial proceedings are open, and to
make public your findings. We also respectfully request that
Yerofeyev be released from prison on health grounds in exchange
for a signed agreement to remain in town, and that the Samara
Union of Journalists' offer to vouch for Mr. Yerofeyev be
accepted.

"Thank you again for your reply and we await your comments."







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Source

Committee to Protect Journalists
330 7th Ave., 11th Floor
New York, NY 10001
USA
info (@) cpj.org
Fax:+1 212 465 9568
Russia
 
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