Ministry of Information explains registration denial to "Arche-Pachatak" with "procedural moments"
To be sincere, the official answer of
the Ministry of Information to the repeated application, submitted by
the new founder of "ARCHE" for its re-registration with the
state, was a surprise...
Of course, the surprise was not in the registration denial – there were no illusions about the reluctance of the authorities to continue seeing in in the Belarusian media space from the very beginning.
Surprising was the argumentation chosen by the officials to justify the denial.
The deputy minister of information Liliya Ananich (whose signature stands under the document, received by the editorial board) has the following opinion:
"According to the form of application for the state registration of a mass media, established by the ruling #14 of the Ministry of Information of the Republic of Belarus of 6 October 2008, the form must be signed by the founder (or founders) of the media.
The possibility of signing of the application by other persons, including those acting on the basis of the power of attorney, is not provided for.
In violation of the provisions of the aforementioned ruling of the Ministry of Information, the application of the state registration of the "Arche-Pachatak" magazine was signed on the basis of the power of attorney by a person who did not have powers to do it.
Moreover, the application is not sealed by the legal entity which acts as the founder of this printed mass media."
The application for the re-registration of the magazine on behalf of the public corporation "Haisak", to whom the rights of the founder had been passed in full conformity with the legally determined procedure. The application was passed by the acting chief editor of "ARCHE" Aliaksandr Pashkevich, who is also one of the two co-founders of "Haisak". He had the power of attorney on such actions, issued by the head of the organization. Thus, A. Pashkevich was an empowered person, and it is quite unclear how he could violated Article 12 of the Law of the Republic of Belarus "On mass media", which sounds as following:
"During the registration of a mass media with the state the national government agency in the sphere of mass information, the founder (founders) or the persons empowered by them pass an application in the form determined by the national state government agency in the sphere of mass information."
We suspect that if the ministry's officials were forced to explain their position, they would start telling that passing documents and signing them are two different things, that's why the only thing that could be done by the co-founder of the public corporation is to bring the documents to the ministry and pass them to a responsible official. A statement which is not signed directly by the head of the organization by which the media is founded, is not a document but a void paper. We also cannot rule out that some uncritically minded people would even believed that officers of the Ministry of Information are interested solely in the correspondence of the passed documents to the formal requirements of the legislation and ignore the criterion of political loyalty. However, unsoundness of such a thought becomes evident after recalling how the new founders of "ARCHE" had passed the registration documents to the Ministry of Information the previous time in exactly the same way and received the first registration denial on the basis of the person proposed as the chief editor to the qualification requirements. At that time, the document "signed on the basis of the power of attorney by a person who did not have powers to do it" and "not sealed by the legal entity which acts as the founder of this printed mass media" was accepted for consideration by the Ministry of Information, and the answer was signed by Liliya's Ananich direct boss, the minister of information Aleh Praliaskouski. It means that at that time the application of the "ARCHE" founders was not a void paper, and started being considered as such only after the officials ran out of serious arguments against the re-registration of the magazine? Let it be, in such a way the Ministry of Information "whipped itself", having eloquently witnessed the unprofessionalism of its officers and their inclination to the use of "double standards".