Hantsavichy Authorities Interfere with Work of Independent Journalists
The journalist of a non-state newspaper Hantsavitski Chas Iryna Damaratskaya was not admitted to the awarding of the best pupils and teachers of the district that took place on 9 January in Hantsavichy culture palace.
According to the deputy-editor of the newspaper Piatro Huzayeuski, when the journalist came a worker of the district education department closed the doors and announced that the event was closed. When the journalists took a photo of her and called to the police, the woman escaped.
However, Damaratskaya had to subdue to the insistent ‘requests’ to leave the hall voiced by another worker of the district education department who did not introduce himself either.
Huzayeuski says that such conditions are usual for journalists of independent editions. ‘It comes to absurd. Last week, on 4 January, representatives of the authorities tried not to let me to the assembly which was initiated by the dwellers of the village of Khatynichy and to which I was invited by them’. The reason for the assembly was the critical state of the well water. The villagers tried to draw the official attention to their problems by the means of such an assembly.
The chair of Hantsavichy district soviet of deputies Viktar Drozd tried to prohibit the correspondent of Hantsavitski Chas to attend the assembly. He said that the newspaper distorted information, that its journalists had no accreditation and the events were to be elucidated by the state newspaper Savetskaye Palesse.
The peasants started asking why there were no journalists from the latter newspaper. Then Drozd phoned to the chief editor of Savetskaye Palesse and said that he would come there soon. In half an hour the editor came.
‘Such attitude of the authorities to independent press is ineffective and unwise. After this incident several habitants of Khatynichy subscribed to our newspaper… People see it all!’ commented Piatro Huzayeuski.