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Panfilov awards Union of Journalists2012-02-07 21:48
Oleg Panfilov has decided to support his former colleagues from the Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations. In protest against the change of the director he refuses the prize, which had once received from the Russian Union of Journalists. The organization does not imagine how Panfilov is going to return a cash prize, awarded in 1995, and explain that recently the Center has been engaged in profanation of human rights activity. However, according to another former director of the Center Mikhail Fedotov, the new director Mikhail Melnikov would lead the CJES to the collapse.
Russian Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations (CJES) under the Union of Journalists of Russia is now the favorite brainchild of Oleg Panfilov who's even taken the name of Sandro. From Tbilisi, where he fled three years ago from lack of freedom of speech, he sees all Russian flaws very well, devoting them major part of his blog. And the scandal around the CJES couldn't fail to remain unnoticed by him.
February 1, right in the 12th anniversary since the establishment of the Centre, its staff issued an open letter in which they stated that CJES stops working. They also clarified: "at least in the form in which it has gained a reputation of organization working hard and with dignity to support the rights of journalists and civil society development".
The staff of the Centre has decided to resign en masse, when the analyst Mikhail Melnikov, fired six months before, was appointed the director instead of Olga Kravtsova. "His complaints to various authorities led to the fact that he got the post of the director of the CJES ... The board accepted the side of the pettifoggers and those who are interested in the collapse of the organization, rather than productive work", said in the open letter. Further was also said that the Centre was not allowed to complete the previously started projects, since all bank accounts were blocked. In the opinion of staff, all this, coupled with the new leadership, will "bury" the Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations. And that is significant - it will happen in anticipation of the presidential election.
Panfilov, as the permanent head of the Center for almost 10 years since its inception, failed to stay aside from such a scandal with a political tinge and not to make a loud statement. He can't be proud of the prize of the Union of Journalists, awarded him in 1995, and therefore refuses it. "The "Internews" - leading Russian organization which had trained thousands of journalists - was destroyed five years ago with the tacit consent of the RUJ. Now it is the turn of the Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations", Oleg Panfilov wrote in a letter to the President of Russian Union of Journalists.