Jurists Alarmed by New Presidential Edict on Broadcasting and Printing Activities

2013 2013-10-16T12:08:52+0300 2013-10-16T12:08:52+0300 en
The president’s edict No 456 “On amending some edicts of the President of the Republic of Belarus” was adopted on October 7, 2013, changing two earlier president’s edicts – “On improving control (supervisory) activities in Belarus” (dated October 16, 2009) and “On licensing some kinds of activities” (dated September 1, 2010).

BAJ asked a lawyer Aliaksandr Zhuk to comment on the amendments: “It seems to me the law has lots of unclear formulations… Earlier it was stated that license was not necessary for printing products by means of printers, copying machines etc. Now, if we interpret the new stipulations literally, you will need a license if you publish your mass medium with the help of a printer…

There are some points that draw special attention – those related to “gross violations in printing and broadcasting activities.” Whereas earlier the edicts included phrases like “calls for extremist activities”, “extremist materials” and “production of pornography literature”, now it says that “gross violations of the law on licensing” will be “performing licensed activities for the purposes that contradict the interests of the Republic of Belarus.”

I wonder what the purposes are that contradict the interests of RB. The definition is not explained anywhere. The term “extremist activities” and “pornography” were explained. But now they have been substituted by vague definition which gives way to many interpretations.” The document requires more thorough examination, and we hope to update it soon.