Court rules, dismissed Karelian newspaper editor to get job back
Local Mayor Vladislav Vokhmin in August this year dismissed Gongeleva after she had published a critical article about the business activities of a local politician.
Vokhmin accused Gongeleva of followed an «unacceptable» editorial line and argued that he had the full right to fire her. Gongeleva subsequently took her case to court where she argued that she is protected by the federal Law on Mass Media.
The editor won the full support of the court and could return to her duties in the Prizyv, 7x7-journal reports.
The Prizyv is partly owned by the local authorities in Lahdenpohja, a municipality located along the border to Finland.
Town Mayor Vokhmin is unlikely to accept his defeat. He has now initiated a financial inspection of the newspaper, the Glasnost Defense Foundation informs.
According to the Law on Mass Media, all owners of a newspaper will have to consent if an editor is to be fired. In the case of the Prizyv, there are four owners, not all of which had approved the dismissal.
It is not the first time that a Russian newspaper editor wins a case against municipal owners. In March this year, editor Irina Iskorneva won a similar case against local authorities in Pechenga, the municipality located along the border to Norway. Iskorneva said her dismissal was connected with her «independent position on key issues».
See video interview with Gongeleva published by the Karelian Journalist Union (in Russian)