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2003 2003-06-06T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

BAJ press service
The Navinki independent newspaper was suspended for 3 months. Information Minister Mikhail Padhainy signed the order on 22 May. Meanwhile, the editorial board learned the news only on 3 June from “Belsayuzdruk” staff, who refused to take the paper for distribution, referring to the Minister’s order. (BAJ press-service)

We managed to get the confirmation only on June 5, from the Registration department of the Information Ministry. The Navinki editor still has not received any official letter about suspension.
The last issue of 3,000 copies was printed at Chyrvonaya Zorka publishing house. Unlike “Belsayuzdruk”, the management of the state-owned publishing house knew nothing about the Minister’s order. According to Pawluk Kanavalchyk, The Navinki editor-in-chief, the sudden suspension led to the direct loss of 300 USD (excluding staff salaries, taxes, etc.)
It’s worth stressing that the order was signed on the day the newspaper received the second warning. On 21 and 22 May the Information Ministry issued 2 warnings to the newspaper for violation of Art 5 of the Law on press. The first warning is about 2 photographs of Lukashenka and comments around them, published in issue #7 (“spreading information which defames the President of the Republic of Belarus”). On 20 May The Navinki editor Pawluk Kanavalchyk was fined 700 USD under Art 172-1 part 2 of the Code of Administrative Offences for publishing the materials. According to Kanavalchyk, on 4 June an officer of the court visited his apartment to see if is possible to exact the fine.
The second warning was about article “Opium for People” in issue #11 and an article headline in issue #8. The Information Ministry saw them as “an attempt on morality of citizens”.
According to the Belarusian legislation, 2 warnings for violation of Art 5 of the Law on press during one year are enough to close down an edition.
P. Kanavalchyk is going to appeal against the warnings, issued by the Information Ministry, and against the fine, imposed on him.

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