Prosecutor's Office Warns Iryna Makavetskaya
On 13 February the correspondent of “Belorusskaya Delovaya Gazeta” in Homel region Iryna Makavetskaya was summoned to Homel Regional Prosecutor’s Office. Aliaksandr Yeliseyew, head the department of law observance and execution of normative acts, read to her the text of the warning that was issued by the regional prosecutor Aleh Palavinka. He refused to give a copy of this document to Iryna Makavetskaya, but agreed to audio recording of his reading.
The reason for the warning was the article “Vikont” Failed to Meet Belarusian Reality” that appeared in #104 of “Belorusskaya Delovaya Gazeta” of 10 December 2003. The prosecutor is of the opinion that by this publication the journalist violated article 5 of the Law “On press and other mass media” and article 9 of the Law “About court practice and the status of judges in the Republic of Belarus”. The prosecutor states that I. Makavetskaya” published materials of a court case without the written permission of the judge and put to doubt … his independence and the fairness of the decision made… in the case about the bankruptcy of the open joint-stock society “BST Ltd.”. The prosecutor warned the journalist that “I. Makavetskaya can face punishment in accordance with the law in the case if she continues violating the law”.
We should point out that the Ministry of Information has already warned the editorial staff of “BDG” on 30 January 2003. Minister Uladzimir Rusakevich took the opinion that the newspaper violated article #5 of the Law on press by publishing the case materials without the written permission of the judge. Soon the editorial staff of “BDG” will complain against the issued warning to the Supreme Economical Court.
Press service of the PA “Belarusian Association of Journalists”, monitoring service of the PA “Belarusian Association of Journalists”