Hrodna TV Channel Censors Candidates’ Speeches
Uladzimir Piarcow, the Hrodna TV and Radio Company director thinks Mikola Voran, BPF Party parliamentary candidate, has to change the text of his TV speech. Only in this case the TV and Radio Company is going to put his speech on the air. On September 27, Mr. Voran received a letter from Mr. Piarcow in response to his inquiry about the reasons of the channel’s decision not to air the previously recorded TV speech.
According to Uladzimir Piarcow, M. Voran's speech "contains a number of fragments contradicting Art 5 of the Law "On Press and Other Mass Media". At the same time, Uladzimir Piarcow failed to explain what fragment he meant. Still, he declared his readiness to broadcast the candidate's speech, provided Mr. Voran brings his speech "to conformity with the legislation of the Republic of Belarus".
Mikola Voran says that in his appeal he called the people to vote against the question put on the referendum by the state leader. In his opinion, this statement was the real reason to censor the speech. The parliamentary candidate is sure that he hasn't broken any laws. Therefore, he is not going to change the text of his speech. Mr. Voran considers the censorship is purely politically motivated. Moreover, he intends to demand the live broadcasting of his election speech.
Mr. Voran is registered as a parliamentary candidate in Hrodna - Zaniomanski election district # 51. The candidate's speech was recorded in the morning of September 20. Still, next night it appeared the candidate's speech was not going to be aired for unknown reasons. Instead, at 6 p.m. the Lad TV channel viewers had a chance to watch Siarhei Kamianietski’s speech. Siarhei Kamianietski is M. Voran’s competitor, supported by the state authorities.
Belarusian Association of Journalists Monitoring Service