Survival of BDG and Narodnaia volia in doubt
Since 2003 the independent periodical "BDG. Delovaia gazeta" has operated in still worse conditions than the Narodnaia volia, claims Radio Liberty. The BDG can not only be printed in Belarus and or distributed through newspaper kiosks. They also lost the right to subscription through the Belposhta system.
Also, the newspaper has a very difficult material position due to numerous fines and audits, and court rulings.
Piotr Martsau, the BDG senior editor, says: "We staked on the independent system of distribution. There are a lot of points of sale in shops, there are people with the right to conduct sales in the streets. Until this spring we had no problems with distribution. In the spring the authorities started to take active moves to destroy this system of distribution. Executive committee officers and then officers of the State Control Committee visited the shops, found BDG points of sale and talked to the managers. They told them that if they continued to sell the newspaper, they would lose their license to sell small items. With street sales things are still simpler. The people were not just detained, but awarded administrative fines. Nevertheless, today "BDG. Delovaia gazeta" has retained some points of sale in shops, and private holders of street sale license also sell the paper".
According to Piotr Martsau, the Narodnaia Volia will find it difficult to resume distribution. When "BDG. Delovaia gazeta" only has to have points of sale in Minsk and regional capitals, a large scale daily needs its own network of distribution throughout Belarus, which is a very difficult task, believes Piotr Martsau, the senior editor of the "BDG. Delovaia gazeta".
Meanwhile the Minister of Information Uladzimier Rusakievich sent to the independent newspaper "Narodnaia volia" a letter, where he recommended the newspaper to take appropriate legal action against the companies that had cancelled contracts with the newspaper. Uladzimier Rusakievich writes that "the Ministry of Information has considered the appeal from the President's Administration". Iosif Siaredzich believes that the Minister referred to the telegram he sent on 28 September to Aliaxandr Lukashenka, where he demanded that the president "stop the bureaucratic lawlessness and self-will of the officials".
By the way, the editorial office appealed to the Economic Court of Minsk with four suits against Belsayuzdruk, Menharsayuzdruk and Menablsayuzdruk that unilaterally cancelled their contracts with the Narodnaia volia for distribution and printing of information. Iosif Siaredzich is sure: if the Economic Court acts in strict compliance with the Constitution and the Belarusian legislation, the verdict will be in favor of the Narodnaia volia.