Information Ministry Warns “Mestnaya Gazeta”
On 5 April the Ministry of Information issued a warning to the independent “Mestnaya Gazeta”. According to the press service of BAJ, the edition is charged with violation of articles 11 and 26 of the Law on press and non-execution of a number of demands concerning the newspaper layout.
The main pretension of the Ministry of Information is that the newspaper didn’t submit a written notice that the newspaper started to be issued three times per week instead of two. According to the text of the warning, the edition also extended the territory of its distribution “to Vawkavysk, Masty, Svislach, Berastavitsa, Zelva and Smarhon” without informing the ministry. Besides, “Mestnaya Gazeta” is charged with incorrect publication of the issue data.
On 7 March the founder and the chief editor of “Mestnaya Gazeta” Andrey Shantarovich filed an official request to the minister of information Uladzimir Rusakevich to explain the essence of the pretensions to the newspaper, mentioned in the warning. According to him, in the registration certificate of the newspaper it is stated that the newspaper can be distributed all over Belarus. The letter also mentions the state regional edition “Nash Chas” which publishes the issue data as “Mestnaya Gazeta” does, but doesn’t receive any warnings.