Minsk Bookstores Refuse to Sell Arche Magazine

2004 2004-10-28T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

A number of Minsk bookstores refused to sell culture-oriented magazine Arche. The magazine encountered problems after publishing an issue featuring 10th anniversary of Lukashenka ruling (#4 of 2004). Valerka Bulhakaw, Arche’s editor-in-chief, confirmed this fact to BelaPAN news agency. Managers of some stores demanded from the editors to take away all previous issues of the magazine.
The issue featuring the 10th anniversary of Lukashenka’s presidency went on sale in the end of September. In early October Minsk bookstores refused to sell it. Nevertheless, the magazine’s chief editor believes this does not really hurt the magazine, since only the stores in the Belarus capital refuse to sell it. Moreover, the readers can still find the magazine in newspaper kiosks of state Belsayuzdruk network. Last summer the magazine encountered similar problems: “Akademkniha” bookstore refused to sell it. Talking to Nasha Niva reporter the bookstore manager Sofia Zhybulewskaya stated the store had “no space”. In August 2003 Vitebsk state distribution network refused to sell the magazine. According to the managers, they were instructed to do so by deputy minister Lilia Ananich. During her visit to Slavianski Bazar festival in Vitebsk, Ms. Ananich saw the magazine in a state kiosk. Coming back to Minsk, the official called the deputy director of the distribution network and reprimanded him for “negligent performance of duty”. RFE/RL reports, the deputy minister confirmed the validity of Arche’s sales permit, but state officials “must understand where and what they could sell”.

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