Den Newspaper Denied Distribution
RFE/RL reports, all organizations, even the ones which had signed the contract, refused to distribute the Den, Belarusian-language independent newspaper. The edition can not reach its readers. The first issue was printed in Smolensk, Russia, because the Belarusian printing presses refused to print the newspaper.
Hrodna regional “Belsayuzdruk” was the only network which initially had agreed to sell the Den. However, when the issue was delivered to them, they refused to receive it. The editorial staff appealed to the official, responsible for distribution.
Mikola Markevich, chief editor of the Den, says: “She explained very directly, the administration of Hrodna “Belsayuzdruk” received a telephone call from the Ministry of Information”.
When Markevich applied to the Ministry, the Ministry officials countered the claim. Uladzimir Matusevich, chief of the main analytical board of the Information Ministry, was asked to assess the situation. Matusevich: “It’s up to two entities, what kid of contracts they sign, and how they carry them out. There are laws; and the situation must be dealt with only in the frames of the legislation. There are bodies, which have the power to decide what is legal, and what is illegal. This is a little bit not in our line of responsibility”.
Nobody takes the responsibility for the situation that all companies, both state and private ones, refuse to sell the issue of the officially registered newspaper. At present the editorial staff tries to distribute the newspaper in Hrodna on their own.