Ideologists to Control Printed Production Together with Police
On 12 March the chair of Mahiliou regional office of the Belarusian People’s Front Party Ryhor Kastusiou was summonsed to Mahiliou Leninski borough police department for proving the legality of renting the office. The appropriate documentation was demanded by the policemen who illegally searched the office and confiscated about 600 copies of Svaboda newspaper and about 1 000 leaflets with invitations to Freedom Day action in Minsk. After a talk with the police Mr. Kastusiou said to RFE/RL:
‘Today we’ve been to Mahiliou Leninski borough police department and presented the documents confirming that our organization has legal registration. However, the most interesting events took place last Thursday, when a group of policemen burst into our office. Among them there was a representative of the ideological department of Mahiliou regional executive committee (REC), Mikhail Khalamau.’
According to the information of Mahiliou REC the structures that will control the activity of printed and electronic mass media are established by the ideological departments in conformity with the new edition of the Administrative Code.
What concerns the confiscated printed production, the REC stated it was published with law violations. For instance, the leaflets were printed abroad and had no waybills and the circulation of Svaboda newspaper exceeded 299 copies.
We should remind that last Thursday the policemen Iury Radzkou and Viktar Tsarou and a worker of the ideological department of Mahiliou REC Mikhail Khalamau burst into the BPF office. They said they did it because in the city there was much printed production that had been issued with law violations and they knew it was stored in the BPF office.