ON 20, 21, AND 22 MAY THE BDG NEWSPAPER GOT THREE CONSECUTIVE WARNINGS FROM INFORMATION MINISTRY (BAJ)
The first warning was issued on 20 May for the article “Lordly Image” (BDG on 18 April 2003). According to the Minister Padhainy, the article contained “inexact information about the fact, that the President of the Republic of Belarus put the plain of the state head in disposal of Sviatlana Karalova so she could fly to Moscow”. In his opinion, the article “not only deceives the citizens of Belarus, but also offends the honor and dignity of the President”. M. Padhainy claims the newspaper has violated Art 5, 40 of the law On Press and Other Mass Media“. The BDG received an official warning.
On 21 May the official warning was issued to The BDG supplement The BDG. Restricted files for a series of articles under the common title “Afghan Greyhounds” and article “The Magic Crystal”, published in #3(14) in March 2003.
Having analyzed the Prosecutor General’s statement “About liquidation of violations of legislation, regulated by the Information Ministry”, the Ministry found out that the newspaper violated Art 32 and 40 of the Law on Press. (In the warning Padhainy claims, that the articles “practically justify corruption activities of former head of “Beldziarzhkharchpram” state company V. Kazeka and his son A. Kazeka, head of sales department of “Kryshtal” state company. The newspaper represents the staff of law-enforcing bodies as lobbyists of criminal structures…”). The Ministry issued another warning to the newspaper under Art 16 of the Law “On Press and Other Mass Media”.
On 22 May the third warning followed. This time – for the article “Where are Leonov’s millions? The National Prosecutor’s Office Can Not Answer This Question. Still Looking…”, published in The BDG #62 of 29 April 2003. The warning appeared after similar analysis of another Prosecutor General’s statement, conducted by the Ministry. The Minister of Information states that the newspaper published the criminal case materials without the judge’s written permission, thus violating Art 5 of the Law on Press and Other Media.
At present the newspaper and its monthly supplement have 4 warnings. (On 17 April 2003 the Ministry of Information warned The BDG. Restricted Files for the article “The System Does Not Count Victims. Disgrace Led the Ex-Minister to Suicide” (#4 (15) of April 2003). The Ministry decided the newspaper had violated Art 32 and 40 of the Law on Press, because the article contained “ungrounded statements about Minister of transportation and communications Mikhail Baravy”. The Ministry issued an official warning basing on Art 16 on the Law on Press).
BAJ points out, that two of the warnings were issued for violation of Art 5 of the Law on Press. Two violations of the same article in the period of 1 year can be the ground to close down the edition.
At the same time, the private publishing house “Marat”, which is the founder of the newspaper, is going to appeal against the warnings of 20, 21, and 22 May to the Supreme Economic Court.