Ministry of Information warned “Nasha Niva” for article about swine flu

2009 2009-11-20T20:49:47+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The Belarusian independent newspaper got an official explanation for the warning issued by the Ministry of Information on November 18.

As the press service of the Belarusian Association of Journalists reports, a ground for the warning was the article titled “Hushing up Flu Causes Panic Epidemic”, published in issue #41 of November 4.

The notice of the Ministry of Information signed by minister Uladzimir Rusakevich says that in accordance with article 34 of the Law on Mass Media of Belarus, a journalist must verify the data in order to spread only reliable information.

As a representative of the Ministry of Information thinks, the statistics on the number of people who suffer or died from pneumonia in Minsk, given in the article, “doesn’t reflect the real facts”. The Ministry of Information learnt this from the Ministry of Health on November 12.

The Ministry of Information demands that the violation of the law should be liquidated within ten days and officials should be informed about the measures taken.

It should be noticed that the article in “Nasha Niva” says that as of October 30, 39 deaths were detected in Minsk, 9 of them from pneumonia. The paper refers to its source in a Minsk hospital.

We remind that on November 18, the Ministry of Information of Belarus issued mass warnings to four independent newspapers: “Narodnaya Volya”, “Nasha Niva”, “Komsomolskaya Pravda in Belarus” and “Va-Bank”.

According to official version of the Ministry of Information, “Komsomolskaya Pravda in Belarus” was warned for the article about swine flu, which writes about absence of Tamiflu medicine in the Homel region TB hospital.