New Facts of Journalist Persecution
On 8 April Leninski Borough Prosecutor’s Office of Hrodna warned the chief editor pf the independent newspaper “Birzha informatsii” Alena Rawbetskaya for violation of article 5 of the Law on press. The senior investigator of the prosecutor’s office, justice colonel Aliaksandr Abramovich confirmed this information to the PA “Belarusian Association of Journalists”. The chief editor was warned for information about an unregistered party structure, allegedly published by the newspaper.
The warning was issued for two articles by the head of Hrodna regional organization of the United Civil Party that were published in the newspaper on 29 January and 18 March. First of them was entitled “We Build No Castles in the Air” and was devoted to the establishment of the party coalition “5+”. In his second article, “Knock-out in First Round”, the author shared his impressions about the election in Russia.
On 7 April the chief editor of the newspaper Alena Rawbetskaya was summoned to the borough prosecutor’s office and informed that a check-up was being conducted on the fact of the publications. The check-up was initiated by Hrodna Regional Prosecutor’s Office that was of the opinion that “Birzha informatsii” distributed information on behalf of an unregistered body. In his talk with A. Rawbetskaya the investigator Abramovich referred to the decision of Hrodna Regional Executive Committee who refused to register Hrodna UCP branch in August 2003.
A. Rawbetskaya, in her turn, said that the UCP was registered by the Ministry of Justice and when its local branches presented the appropriate documents, the local authorities were to have registered them automatically, as it is demanded by the Law on parties. She also expressed these arguments in the explanatory note, submitted to the prosecutor’s office on 8 April.
Hrodna City Prosecutor’s Office has summoned the journalist of the “Intex-press” newspaper Maryna Kulikova twice. They wanted her to give explanations concerning her publication devoted to joining of one of Baranavichy branches of the official Belarusian Republican Youth Union to the unregistered youth movement “Zubr” which appeared in the newspaper on 11 March. The reason for the summons was the letter to the prosecutor’s office, signed by the head of Baranavichy City Executive Committee Viktar Dzichkowski.
On 13 April Minsk Leninski Borough Court fined Mikhail Marynich 10 basic values for the article “Collapse?”, published in the newspaper “Narodnaya Volia”. In the article he introduced himself as a member of the public organization “For Worthy Life” that hasn’t been registered by the Ministry of Justice yet.
Press-service of the PA “Belarusian Association of Journalists”