Belsaiuzdruk Refuses to Sell Vestnik Kultury

2006 2006-10-13T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The state monopolist Belsaiuzdruk (Belarusian Union Press) has refused to distribute another non-state newspaper. In the beginning of the week the editorial board of the non-state newspaper Vestnik kultury received a letter signed by the director of Belsaiuzdruk I.Dudzich. The letter informed the editorial board that the enterprise decided to stop selling the newspaper. In its previous letter Belsaiuzdruk explained its intention to break the agreement by economical inexpediency and stated that more than 30% weren’t bought and therefore the enterprise lost 1 082 rubles (about 50 cents) in June. The editor proposed to cover this loss and asked the Belsaiuzdruk administration to change its decision, but it gave no results.

The chief editor of Vetsnik kultury Andrei Zaitsau says that Belsaizdruk has been strict with the newspaper from the very beginning. ‘In the beginning of 2006 they didn’t want to conclude an agreement with us. Then they agreed to distribute only 50 copies all over Minsk. Besides, the newspaper was distributed only in Belsaiuzdruk shops and there are only about 70 of them. It wasn’t sold at newspaper kiosks at all. To my request to sell more copies the deputy chair of Belsaiuzdruk T.Ivinskaia answered: ‘Why occupy the stalls with it – such press isn’t popular’. They also refused to sell the newspaper in kiosks because in this case the readers won’t have the possibility to look it through,’ Mr Zaitsau said. To his mind the newspaper could be excluded for economic reasons or just become a victim of the general ‘clear-up’ because the newspaper was registered as an edition dedicated to public and political issues, through it published only materials about art and culture. Vestnik kultury was established in 1996 by the Belarusian literary union Polotskaya vetv. It is issued once a month, has the circulation of about 1,5 thousand copies and is distributed all over Belarus. In 2006 a new collective headed by the playwright Andrei Kureichyk came to the editorial board and it was decided to considerably reform the edition in order to make it interesting to the masses.