Information Ministry rules that ‘Astravetski Vesnik’ must be destroyed
‘The copies of Astravetski Vesnik must be destroyed’, ruled the deputy minister of information Ihar Laptsionak.
On 4 March the police (who received information from KGB officers) confiscated from the activist of the United Civil Party Ivan Kruk two copies of the newspaper Astravetski Vesnik. It was the first issue of this new edition in A3 format and with the circulation of 299 copies. The newspaper included articles against construction of the nuclear power station. Later, on 6 and 12 March the police examined Ivan Kruk’s apartment in Astravets, looking for illegally produced and stored printed editions and printed equipment.
The Ministry of Information found no corpus decliti in Kruk’s actions. ‘One can be drawn to administrative responsibility for distribution of printed editions without imprint. However, the police didn’t establish that I.Kruk distributed Astravetski Vesnik,’ stated Ihar Laptsionak. ‘Besides, only two copies of one issue of the newspaper were confiscated. On the basis of this evidence it is impossible to conclude that the confiscated edition is a periodical.’
Nevertheless, the Ministry of Information ruled that the confiscated copies of the newspaper were to be destroyed, as they ‘are of no considerable value and were produced with violations of demands of the international standards concerning the imprint’.
Ivan Kruk is of the opinion that this ruling of the Ministry of Information is unlawful and is going to lodge complaints against it to the Office of Prosecutor General and the Constitutional Court. He also intends to ask the ministry explain its decision.