Uladzimir Labkovich: ‘Political parties have no access to the state mass media’
The state press refuses to publish any articles by oppositional parties despite the fact that the law guarantees to them the access to mass media.
Uladzimir Labkovich, the responsible secretary of the central office of the Belarusian Popular Front Party, stated it in the interview with the press-service of Charter’97 while commenting on the refusal of the state-run newspaper Narodnaya Hazeta to publish the article of the BPF Party On crisis situation in the Belarusian economy.
‘There are many talks that in our country everybody allegedly has equal opportunities for applying to mass media, including representatives of the opposition. However, the statement of the vice-head of Lukashenka’s administration Natalli Piatkevich is not true. The law on political parties guarantees them access to mass media, first of all to the state ones. We have been denied in publication of our article in Narodnaya Hazeta, and last week we received a similar denial in one of the state newspapers issued in Vitsebsk,’ Mr. Labkovich said.
‘It again confirms that there are no changes in the sphere of free access to information, though the European Union demands such changes. No changes are taking place,’ states Uladzimir Labkovich.
Bear in mind that on 23 January the BPF Party addressed the Belarusian authorities with the request to publish the official position of the BPF, adopted at its latest assembly (Soim) On crisis situation in the Belarusian economy.
On 9 February the party received an answer from the chief editor of Narodnaya Hazeta V. Andryievich, who refused to publish the article, referring to Article 35 of the Law of the Republic of Belarus On press and other mass media, according to which ‘the editorial offices choose and publish the letters addressed to them on their own decision. No one can oblige an editorial office to publish the materials it has declined.’
Last week the Vitsebsk-based newspaper Vitsbichy promised to publish the Position of the BPF Party On crisis situation in the Belarusian economy.