Police Return ‘Tovarishch’ Circulation 45 Days after Confiscation
On 13 November the police returned an issue of the non-state newspaper ‘Tovarishch’ (printed organ of the Party of Communists of Belarus) to its chief editor Siarhei Vazniak. The newspapers were taken away from the newspaper’s editorial office on 27 September.
‘The newspapers were returned by the head of Minsk city police department #1 of Leninski district executive committee Uladzislau Schasnovich. He also loaded the newspapers into the editor’s car together with two policemen in mufti,’ said Mr. Vazniak in his interview with the Belarusian Association of Journalists. According to him, the whole circulation was returned to him.
Together with the newspapers the police handed to the editor the conclusion on the results of the check-up, for which the newspapers had allegedly been exacted. In the conclusion it is stated that no violations were found.
Siarhei Vazniak is revolted by the ‘unbelievably long term of the check-up’ – 45 days – and intends to complaint to the prosecutor’s office.
‘The conclusion was signed on 27 October, but the newspapers were returned on 13 November. It means that they detained the newspapers for a fortnight without any legal reasons. Of course, they waited till the Social March was over, as this issue was dedicated to this action,’ Vazniak commented.
It is quite interesting that last week the chair of the Belarusian Association of Journalists Zhana Litvina received an answer to her complaint concerning the confiscation of the newspaper. She had left the complaint in the complaint book of Leninski district police department of Minsk.
‘A check-up is being conducted. You will receive extra information about the measures taken,’ was said in the answer, signed by Uladzislau Schasnovich.