Information Minister Supports Criminal Punishment of Journalists

2005 2005-02-15T10:00:00+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The information minister of Belarus Uladzimir Rusakevich thinks it is too early to set aside the articles of the criminal code according to which journalists can be punished for insulting the honor and dignity of state officials:
-- Someday, when the level of the political culture of the society will be much higher, this norm will become unnecessary, but it won’t happen quickly, -- said the minister in his interview to “Interfax” agency. U. Rusakevich emphasized that the laws of the majority of European countries provide punishments to journalists for libel:
-- I am very anxious about human dignity and when somebody wants to shamelessly insult it, it needs to be punished.

The minister doesn’t agree with the statement that journalists must criticize the state:
-- It is a good and safe business to criticize the state, but a journalist’s work must be creative, first of all, -- he said.