BAJ Applied to the Head of the Presidential Administration
The Belarusian Association of Journalists addressed with a letter the Head of Presidential Administration Uladzimir Makey to ask "assistance in solving the problem of distribution of non-state press". 15 editors of non-state Belarusian newspapers signed the appeal.
The letter goes that during the subscription campaign for 2009 that is going on now "a number of non-state newspapers again receive refusals to their proposals of cooperation with Belposhta and Sayuzdruk state enterprises."
BAJ also reminds that several independent newspapers, namely Tovarishch, Narodnaja Volia and Vitebskiy Kurier, are deprived of the possibility to be printed in Belarus. Problems with printing and distribution led to disappearance of several newspapers.
"These steps lead us to the conclusion about deliberate economic and legal discrimination of non-state newspapers and a threat to the rights of citizens. Such limitations are not based on the law and they cannot exist in a democratic society," the appeal goes.
BAJ and the editors of non-state newspapers call "to return the situation in the legal field, to stop legal and economic discrimination of non-state newspapers and secure the rights of the Belarusian citizens to receive and impart information and the freedom of expression."
About 15 non-state newspapers were excluded from the state monopoly distribution systems of Belposhta (Belarusian Post) and Sayuzdruk (retail press distribution system of kiosks) before the presidential elections of 2006. The newspapers applied to the enterprises, the Ministry of Information and even to courts, but with no success.