THE MESTNAYA GAZETA PUBLISHES MATERIALS OF THE NOVAYA HAZETA SMARHONI, HAS PROBLEMS WITH DISTRIBUTION
Press service of the Belarusian Association of Journalists reports, the Mestnaya Gazeta, which prints articles by the Novaya Hazeta Smarhoni journalists, has encountered serious problems with distribution. In the end of last week Tax inspection officials two times confiscated issues of the Mestnaya Gazeta and all sales income from private distributors. In the evening of January 15 tax inspectors detained three distributors with issue of the Mestnaya Gazeta which contained materials written by journalists of the suspended Novaya Hazeta Smarhoni. On January 16 they detained one more distributor. They were all charged with unlicensed business activity. The tax inspectors referred to the decision of Smarhon executive committee, dated December 18, 2003, introducing new regulations of street-hawking. Printed matters were excluded from the list of goods private distributors are permitted to sell.
Meanwhile, on January 15 the editors of the Mestnaya Gazeta received a memo from the town administration with the list of objects permitted for street sales. The list included paper, stationery, books, and newspapers.
The Novaya Hazeta Smarhoni founder Ramuald Ulan claims all distributors have appropriate licenses. He thinks, the detained distributors will receive fines. "For some reason, the tax inspection pays attention only to distributors selling the Mestanaya Gazeta with articles written by our journalists", -- Ulan pointed out.
From the middle of November the Mestnaya Gazeta, an independent newspaper of Vawkavysk, started to print an additional weekly issue for Smarhon readers, when in the beginning of October the Information Ministry suspended the Novaya Hazeta Smarhoni for three months.