A print run of the unregistered Krychau newspaper Volny horad is still at the disposal of law enforcement agencies.
This is the information provided to the Belarusian Association of Journalists by the editor of the periodical Siarhei Niarouny on November 21. However, he argues that the publishers still managed to bring this issue to the reader by printing the newspaper print run again.
The print run was seized on 13 January on the Russia-Belarus border. Siarhei Niarouny had been taking the issue of his periodical from Smolensk, a city where the Volny horad has been printed for a second year already. At the customs point a junior police officer Kisialou detained the car. He not only checked the documents but also searched the car to find a pack of newspapers. After the junior officer made a call Head of Klimavichy Police Lieutenant Colonel Iury Simanau with two people in plain clothes arrived at the customs point, they counted all the copies of the Volny horad, of which there were about 1000. This number did not coincide with the newspaper imprint – 299 copies (this is the legally allowed circulation of an unregistered periodical). A report was drawn up and all of the Volny horad print run was confiscated.
In several hours customs officials claimed their right to search, said Mr. Niarouny to the BAJ monitoring service. They persuaded the police officers to destroy their report, which they did unwillingly. The customs officials made a similar report under the supervision of Mr. Bondarau, the head of the customs point.
According to Siarhei Niarouny, the officers serving in Belarus-Russia border checkpoints received an order to be especially vigilant so that “subversive” printed materials could not cross the border.