European View on Mass Media Situation in Belarus
Contains information of BelaPAN
The international community watches the worsening of the situation with mass media in Belarus with a great concern. In their appeal, distributed in Minsk by the German Embassy on 25 June, Heads of the European Union urged the authorities to immediately renew edition of “Belorusskaya Delovaya Gazeta” and “BDG. Dlya Sluzhebnogo Polzovanya” and to abstain from further persecution of journalists. They also expressed anxiety about the new draft law on mass media and pressurization of “oppositional newspapers and journalists”. As the documents, says, the EU wants to see Belarus as a country with effective democratic institutions and blooming market economy… However, in connection with the recent events the European Union expressed disappointment with the abovementioned limitations and emphasize that liberty of press and word are vitally important elements of any State that is eager to take its place among European nations. It was suggested to improve the situation with mass media by adopting a new law about mass media with the approval of the OSCE and EC experts.
The International organization of the liberty of speech “Article 19” pointed out that the decision of the Information Ministry to suspend edition of “Belorusskaya Delovaya Gazeta” was confirmed by the Supreme Economic Court during consideration of the newspaper’s suit. The organization is of opinion that this decision was taken without any evidence presented, which contradicts to the law. According to “Article 19”, suspension of the “BDG” edition violates liberty of word, which Belarus is bound to preserve, being a member of the OSCE and the UNO. The organization appeal states that in this case the suspension was an unacceptable and therefore illegitimate measure. So, “Article 19” also urged the authorities to renew the newspaper and guarantee to other warned editions that such measures won’t be applied to them.