Orsha entrepreneurs advised not to cooperate with independent website

2014 2014-02-18T13:58:21+0300 2014-02-18T13:58:21+0300 en http://spring96.org/files/images/sources/orshatut.by.jpg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Viktar Andreyeu, founder of the website www.orshatut.by, does not rule out that close attention to the resource is associated with the election campaign.

The website has been working for more than three years, covering local news and events in the district and the region. It also posts private ads. It is one of the advertisers who was advised not to cooperate with the independent resource, says Viktar Andreyeu.

“The man told me he refused to advertise on the site. This was strange, since our collaboration had lasted more than one month. And the man explained that he had been warned by the KGB, they told him the site "is not quite right”, and in order not to be in trouble, he should withdraw his ad. Of course, I agreed. But the website’s activity has never encountered this form of discontent,” says the editor.

The site staff previously reported certain obstacles: for example, a school teacher from Orsha was criticized for an interview about school amateur performances, and a student was intimidated that he would not go to college if his article about a campaign against smoking were posted on this resource.

"But this has not happened before that they tell me in such a categorical manner and with reference to the KGB that the site is harmful or dangerous. Probably it’s an attempt to pressure before the elections, as our resource is independent, and one of the latest materials reported on a picket by the campaign "Tell the Truth" staged in Orsha. Or maybe just someone does not like that we publish critical materials on local problems. Anyway, I want our readers to know about the pressure on our website, and so I wrote an open letter,” said Viktar Andreyeu.

In his letter, the founder of the Orsha website, former independent trade union activist, mentions that independent media in Orsha have always faced hostility. In the 1990s, Viktar Andreyeu was the editor and publisher of the "Kutseina" newspaper, which faced problems after a critical article about the then chairman of the executive committee. Finally, the newspaper was stripped of registration.