Krychau Procurator’s Office warned the founder of the non-state newspaper “Volny Horad”
The Krychau district procurator’s office warned Uladzimer Kudrautseu, the founder and editor of the non-state unregistered newspaper Volny Horad (Free Town). Kudrautseu and the editorial office believe this is pressure applied by the authorities.
Volny Horad is a non-state newspaper well-known in Krychau. It has been published for more than five years. 299 copies are printed in Smolensk to be gratuitously distributed throughout Krychau District. Uladzimer Kudrautseu, the newspaper founder, was summonsed to the district procurator’s office on 14 February.
(Kudrautseu:) “Authorities apply pressure against the newspaper. The documents we have received from the executive committee contain grievances against our newspaper. The officials believe that the articles contain libel, insult of the authorities, our “fatherly” President and, allegedly, a call to a revolution around Klimau.”
The editorial office believes that the procurator’s office grievances are ungrounded. The newspaper, according to Uladzimer Kudrautseu, attacks the authorities with a view to making them work better, and also informs the readers of various democratic projects and actions.
Nonetheless, the District Procurator Mikalai Rozantsau issues an official warning to the newspaper founder.
(Rozantsau:) “The articles published in this newspaper can under certain circumstances lead to a criminal action. He has been warned that the consequences could have a very bad impact on him.”
Meanwhile, Uladzimer Kudrautseu said that the editorial office of the Volny Horad obtained a copy of a letter circulated by the District Executive Committee among the Deputy Heads of companies and organizations operating in Krychau, who are in charge of ideology.
(Kudrautseu:) “This paper says that the people who deliver and distribute the newspaper and those who read it should be looked for. In one place I was told that such people will be dismissed.”
Siarhei Marozau, Head deputy of Kruchau Executive Committee for Ideology, referred to this letter as a falsification. As regards the grievances against Volny Horad from the district power structures, Mr. Marozau said that the authorities do not view this publication as a newspaper (because of its small print-run) and generally treat it as a flyer.
(Marozau:) “Who knows the guys writing for these flyers? Having grievances against the flyer? Me paying attention to all these flyer-things?! Let them write whatever they want to”.
Uladzimer Kudrautseu, the Volny Horad founder, reassured that the newspaper will continue to be issued in the future and will retain its style and stance, Radio Liberty says.