"HAZETA SLONIMSKAJA" FIGHTS FOR ITS RIGHT TO GET INFORMATION
Today "Hazeta Slonimskaja"'s journalists got Mikhalai Dzehtsiarou's (the head of the Slonim District ecological department) response to their appeal. Not long ago he had refused to give them the information they were asking for and told them they could get it from the state regional newspaper.
On May 11 Mikhalai Dzehtsiarou (an official from Slonim responsible for environment protection) refused to provide Volha Shynkevich (a journalist from "Hazeta Slonimskaja") with information. The reporter had intended to ask him some questions about the plans of his department for this year.
Mikhalai Dzehtsiarou claimed that he already had a newspaper he wanted to cooperate with. It is a state edition "Slonimski Vesnik" (the newspaper of the State Executive Committee). The official said that the journalist would be able to get all the necessary information from "Slonimski Vesnik". "It is very good that you are concerned with ecological problems...", - said the official.
Unfortunately it is not the only refuse that the newsapaer has got recently. On May 11 the Department of Education of Slonim refused to provide the newspaper with information about the number of school-leavers this year. Last week the head of the department Halina Shmialiova said that the information could be obtained from the state newspaper "Slonimski Vesnik".
The journalists decided that they would not go to law because they thought it would be useless. Instead of it the editorial staff sent letters to a number of independent editions and asked their colleagues to send appeals to the official and ask her why she had refused to give the information to "Hazeta Slonimskaja". Similar appeals will be sent to the head of the Department of the Ecology Mikhalai Dzehtsiarou.
The editorial staff of "Hazeta Slonimskaja" has sent about a dozen of appeals asking for information this year. They got only two replies.
The BAJ Monitoring Service