Ministry of Information issued a second warning to the editorial office of the Narodnaia Volia newspaper, accusing it of distributing deceitful statements
At the same time, the editorial office came to know that five citizens had simultaneously filed five suits worth 50 million rubles each.
Article 32 , which the Narodnaia volia allegedly violated in the opinion of the ministry, states the right of the Belarusian citizens to receive truthful information from the media. According to the ministry, the newspaper violated these provisions by publishing the articles entitled "This is the will of the people" (issue no.77 of 23 April 2005) that said that around 300 employees of the Belaruskaliy (state-owned company) had signed under a collective letter to support creation of the civil movement "The will of the people".
The Belarusian Association of Journalists reported that the Narodnaia volia refuted this information on 14 May by declaring that some of the people mentioned in the list are not employees of Belaruskaliy.
The same April article served as a ground for five suits filed by the employees of Belaruskaliy who claim they did not sign in support of the civil movement Will of the People. Each requires compensation worth 50 million rubles.
We'd like to remind you that the Narodnaia volia received the first warning a month ago on 13 April. The warning is put down to 2 articles printed in March. The first article was printed on 3 March under the title of Virtual war of granddaughter against grandmother. The Ministry of Information believed that the author (A.Sivy) published the materials of the unfinished legal case without the written permission of the judge. On 31 March the newspaper published "Address to the Afghan War Veterans" by the leader of the Yury Zakharanka movement Homeland Defenders A.Volchak. The Ministry of Information argued that this was dissemination of information on behalf of an unregistered association. Both violations fall under Article 5 of the law "On the press and other Media".
Apart from that, at the end of May, there will be hearing of the suit filed by the LDP leader Siarhei Haidukievich against the Narodnaia volia. S.Haidukievich argues that the article "Haidukievich's letter. And fax message for Haidukievich" (No. 39 of 1 March 2005) contained untrue information, and so requires payment of damages worth 200 million rubles.
The Press Service of Belarusian Association of Journalists.