Authorities continue to mop up the information field
In the period following the last presidential elections the number of the independent public and political periodicals in the Belarusian regions has reduced threefold. 20 editorial offices have been shut down in 2004. The non-inclusion of the sixteen independent newspapers into the subscription catalog and their expulsion from Saiuzdruk are some of the most important events of November and December.
Before the new electoral campaign almost all of the provincial democratic newspapers have lost the right to sell and deliver copies via the system Saiuzdruk and Belposhta. At the same time they started to cancel contracts for the rental of editorial premises.
The official warning that the contract between TAA “Vydavetski dom “Intex-press” and the Trading Republican Unitary Company Brestablsaiuzdruk will not be prolonged was received by the director of the publishing house Uladzimier Ianukievich. According to the letter dated December 16 2005 and signed by Director of TRUP Brestablsaiuzdruk Mr. Mareika, the contract for the year 2006 “will not be prolonged on the basis of Article 3091 of the Civil Code of the Republic of Belarus”.
The editor of the Pinsk-based newspaper Miastsovy chas Viktar Iarashuk received an official paper from the management of the Sport Hotel that cancelled the rental agreement from December 31, though the contract expires only in July next year.
The newspaper Homan Barysaushchyna learnt that the newspaper had been put on the list of periodicals banned for distribution through the kiosks of Saiuzdruk, just like another two independent local periodicals. Unlike them, Homan hardly covered the political and socio-economic issues of the region. The periodical was specialized in the history of the native land, the cultural and educational topics and had a very small circulation.