Novaya Gazeta Smarhoni Suspended
August 16 minister of information Uladzimir Rusakevich signed the order to suspend an independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta Smarhoni, published by entrepreneur Ramuald Ulan.
Mr. Ulan is accused of violating Art 10 and Art 12 of the Law on Press and Other Mass Media. One day later, August 17, the publisher got an official warning for the same “violations”.
Under Article 10, a newspaper must have a statute in order to register. The article 12 allows foundation of an edition only to a legal entity. However, former rules of registration, according to which Novaya Gazeta Smarhoni was founded, don’t presuppose these conditions.
BAJ press service gained information from the Ministry of Information that similar reasons can be used for suspension of other editions.
The text of the warning practically repeats the order of suspension. Viktar Huretski of the Ministry’s Registration Board said that delay of the warning was just a technical inaccuracy.
The founder of the newspaper stated that the suspension of ?#152;Novaya Gazeta Smarhoni’ is groundless. He also considers explanations of the Ministry contradictory. In particular, his newspaper has always been published by a private entrepreneur, and not by a legal entity. He refers to the Memo about the Procedure to Register Periodicals, issued by the Ministry of Information. The Memo says that if a newspaper is founded by a citizen, then there is no need for an editorial board and a statute. (The Memo is published on the Ministry’s official web-site: www.mininform.gov.by).
?#152;I treat the suspension of my edition as the preparation for the parliamentary elections by the authorities. They are trying to get rid off all sources of independent information’, - claims Mr. Ulan. He personally doesn’t intend to participate in the elections but his newspaper published a lot of materials concerning the activity of independent candidates in Smarhon district.