Hantsavitski Chas Reporter Denied Access to Information
On September 21 Piotr Huzayewski, editor-in-chief of Hantsavitski Chas independent newspaper was denied the right to receive information. In the morning he came to the open session of the district Council. The local councilors had Hantsavichy city and area land improvement on the agenda. However, during the opening Council speaker Barys Astrawtsow drew the councilors’ attention to the presence of the independent newspaper editor at the session. He also suggested the councilors should decide by vote if the reporter should stay in the room. Nobody voted in favor of allowing the reporter to stay in the room. Five people voted against that (there were about 100 councilors at the session). Head of Hantsavichy executive administration Uladzimir Stolar actively spoke against the presence of the reporter. Simultaneously, Hantsavichy police chief threatened Huzayewski with administrative responsibility. Nobody took into account the reporter’s claim that he was just executing his professional duties.
At the same time, reporters of the state-run local Sovetskoye Polessie newspaper were present all the way through the Council session.
Similar case happened to Huzayewski on August 28. The police did not allow the reporter to be present at the district conference of education employees, held in the building of Hantsavichy School # 3.