IFJ Protest to Mr Yushenko, Ukraine

President Yuschenko

Fax: +380 44 255 75 71

CC: State Tax Administration of Kyiv

33/19, Sholudenko str., Kyiv, 04116, Ukraine

phone + 380 44 461 76 12

fax  + 380 44 461 77 57


CC: State Tax Administration of Ukraine

8, Lvivska ploscha, Kyiv, 04053, Ukraine

phone + 380 44 272 51 59

fax  + 380 44 272 08 41

e-mail gromada@sta.gov.ua 

9 June 2005

Dear President Yuschenko,

Re: APPEAL Against the Decision of the State Tax Inspection of the Obolonsky region of Kyiv # 144 from May, 20, 2005

The International Federation of Journalists, the world’s largest journalist organization, is deeply concerned to learn that the Ukrainian tax authorities have refused to register the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine, IMTUU, as a trade union with the non-profit status. As a consequence it will be liable to the same tax system as any commercial company.

This decision is based on an apparent discrepancy between the IMTUU constitution and the Ukrainian Law on Taxation. A full explanation of the case and a copy of IMTUU’s appeal have been provided to the IFJ.

The IFJ is astonished that such a decision has been made and is deeply concerned that there is a deliberate attempt by the authorities to undermine financial stability of the IMTUU.

IMTUU is a leading journalists’ union in the Ukraine . It has worked hard to establish itself nationally as a strong and effective body able to represent and defend the rights of journalists. Moreover it played a crucial role in organizing the protests in state broadcasters that called for an end to the censorship during the election period.

During this time it has worked closely with the International Federation of Journalists, the National Union of Journalists of Great Britain and Ireland, the Swedish Journalists’ Union, the Norwegian Journalists’ Union and the Trade Union of Croatian Journalists. All of these organizations will vouch for its trade union identity.

The refusal to register IMTUU as a trade union with the non profit status can only be interpreted as a direct attempt to undermine the Ukrainian trade union movement and to prevent journalists from demanding the right to work in decent conditions and independent from outside interference.

We ask you to ensure that the IMTUU appeal will be treated appropriately and swiftly to enable it to be registered as a trade union and to continue its work defending the rights of journalists in Ukraine .

Kind Regards

 AIDAN WHITE

General Secretary, IFJ

JEREMY DEAR

National Union of Journalists of Great Britain and Ireland ,

ARNE KONIG

Chair, European Federation of Journalist

Vice- President the Svenska Journalistförbundet

JASMINA POPOVIC

President of the Sindikat Novinara Hrvatske

Executive Committee Member, IFJ

ANN-MAGRIT AUSTENA

President Norsk Journalistlag