Executive Authorities Forbid Shop Owners to Sell Independent Press
A number of large shops in Minsk refused to sell the leading non-governmental editions, such as Belaruski Rynok, Belaruskaya Delovaya Gazeta (BDG), Belaruskaya Gazeta and Narodnaya Vola. The owners of some shops didn’t even bother to notify the editors while canceling the distribution agreements. In particular, Belaruski Rynok and Belaruskaya Gazeta encountered the problem on 23 August.
“They don’t even hide that they had received an appropriate instruction from Minsk Executive Committee,” - says Viktor Bandarenka, executive director of Belaruskaya Gazeta.
Mr. Bandarenka’s colleagues from BDG report that last week CEOs of large shops had a talk with Uladzimir Mirhalowski, deputy head of the Main Consumer Market Department. However, the official himself doesn’t seem willing to comment the issue. Talking to the BDG reporter, he claimed “he had nothing to do with newspapers”, and broke off the telephone conversation.
According to BDG, some advertisers were pressurized the same way. More and more often they decide not to cooperate with the independent press.