Authorities Pressurize “Mestnaya Gazeta”
On 22 October Andrey Shantarovich, editor-in-chief of the independent newspaper “Mestnaya Gazeta”, received a letter from Uladzimir Rusakevich, Minister of information, where the minister warned the newspaper about the possible liquidation.
The editor was warned that if the juridical address wasn’t agreed with Vawkavysk authorities within a month, the newspaper would be liquidated. At first the juridical address of “Mestnaya Gazeta” was in Smarhon. Then the editorial board moved to Vawkavysk. In such case the editorial staff was to inform the authorities about the change of its address, which was done.
The chief editor considers it as the revenge of the authorities for elucidation of the conflict of the businessman Mikalay Awtukhovich with Vawkavysk tax inspection. During the first week of the hunger strike Shantarovich actually functioned as the press secretary of the hunger strikers. He also helped to distribute the information about this incident.
Now Mr. Shantarovich prepares an answer to the Minister of Information, but thinks he may have to prove his right in court.
We should remind that Mikalay Awtukhovich and his 26 workers continue the hunger strike of protest against the illegal actions of the tax inspection that has arrested cars, owned by Awtukhovich. As a result 30 to 60 people (according to different calculations) have lost their jobs.