Narodnaia Volia Can’t Break Through: Three Double Numbers Detained at Vitsebsk Regional Board of Internal Affairs

2006 2006-03-16T10:00:00+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The first of the three abovementioned double numbers of the non-state newspaper Narodnaia volia was detained by the police on 2 March 2006, two others - on 14 March. Today the chief editor of the newspaper Iosif Siaredzich told the details to the press-service of the Belarusian Association of Journalists.

Iosif Siaredzich said that having found out about the intention of Smolensk polygraphic combine to cancel the printing agreements with Belarusian non-state newspapers he concluded an agreement with the open joint-stock company Mikhaylov’s Printing House in Smolensk. There two double numbers of the newspaper were printed: #44-45 and #46-46. The circulation of each of them was 27 000 copies. According to Mr Siaredzich, the polygraphic combine cancelled the contracts with the newspapers on the request of the gubernator of Smolensk region of Russia.

’We legally printed four numbers and were going to take them to the editorial office with the aim to distribute them’, pointed Mr Siaredzich. At first the load was checked by the Belarusian border guards for a long time. They stated they had no pretensions, but didn’t return the documents. In an hour two policemen from Dubrouna District Board of Internal Affairs arrived. They composed a report for attachment of the circulation. Then they passed the documents to the traffic police of Vitsebsk who stated they were ordered to take representatives of Narodnaia volia to Vitsebsk RBIA.

Mr Siaredzich didn’t want to go to Vitsebsk, but when he said it, a policeman shouted: ‘Lay hands on the car and bestride your legs. He was threatened to be taken to the RBIA in handcuffs in the case he didn’t agree to go there on his own. Mr Siaredzich had to move from the car that carried the newspaper to a police car - a policeman sat got into the car with the newspaper circulation to control the driver’s actions.

At about 6.30 p.m. they arrived to Vitsebsk RBIA and I.Siaredzich was made to give written explanations where the newspaper was printed, what was its circulation, how he carried it to Belarus, who detained the load, etc. Then representatives of the editorial board were told they could take their car and move away without the newspapers. The police gave no explanations concerning the reasons for confiscation of the newspaper numbers.

‘I understood that this decision could be taken by an official of the level equal to the Minister of Interior Uladzimir Navumau, but may be even ministers don’t make such decisions’, said Mr Siaredzich.