Editorial Office of Zgoda Newspaper Warned by Information Ministry
On 11 November the editorial office of the independent newspaper Zgoda was warned by the Ministry of Information for “distribution of the information that insults honor and dignity of President”.
According to the Ministry of Information, the insult could be seen in a number of publications and collages, published by the newspaper.
Aliaksiei Karol, chief editor of the newspaper, explained the situation to RFE/RL:
-- We had a collage with the map of CIS countries. Instead of Belarus there was the face of the man who reminded of Lukashenka. There was also the interview with me concerning the revolution of 1905, under the heading “Living in Lukashenka’s Belarus I understand the events of the 1905 revolution much better”. This heading is also considered as insulting information.
The warning is signed by the minister, Uladzimir Rusakievich, and dated 9 November, but the editorial office received it two days later. Aliaksiei Karol points at the fact that the majority of the publications that are mentioned in it have been already put into the administrative cases against him and Mr. Sdvizhkou. In September both of them were fined about 1 000 USD for distribution of information that is insulting to the president. Mr. Karol is going to complain against the warning. He also wants to turn the public attention to the situation of the liberty of speech in the contemporary Belarus:
-- All this offence, that was especially noticeable since 4 till 9 November is a part of the general clearing of the informational space from the editions that distribute independent and objective information. It is a part of the preparation to the upcoming presidential election.