Ideology Departments of Local Vertical Check Periodicals at Retail Outlets

2005 2005-02-15T10:00:00+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

All juridical bodies and private individuals who sell periodicals will have to present to district and city executive committees detailed information about all newspapers they sell by 15 February. This order doesn’t concern the state enterprises “Belsayuzdruk” and “Belposhta”.

For instance, it is mentioned in the decision of Minsk Regional Executive Committee, dated 13 December 2004. According to this document, the entrepreneurs (organizations) that retail periodicals, will have to present to the ideological board of the regional executive committee not only detailed information about themselves, but also the special “attachment to the line of the sold newspapers” with such information as the name and the topic of the edition, the state where it was registered, the date of registration and the number of the registration certificate and the body that issued it, the date and the number of the distribution agreement, and for foreign editions (except for Russian ones) – also the date and the number of the permission, issued by the Ministry of Information for distribution on the territory of Belarus. It’s worth mentioning that the executive committees of some other cities and towns of Belarus issued the same orders at about the same time. For instance, Hlybokaye Town Executive Committee issued such order on 28 December.

The lawyers of Belarusian Association of Journalists fear that as a result the number of distributors of non-state press can rapidly decrease:
-- Before this an entrepreneur was responsible only for having a certain list of goods at his disposal, now those who sell press are controlled more and more, -- thinks the vice-head of Belarusian Association of Journalists Andrey Bastunets. – Now the ideological vertical wants to know it for sure what newspapers are sold... Without agreeing about the attachment to the line of the newspapers the entrepreneurs won’t be able to receive the permission to trade. That’s why many of them can refuse to sell newspapers at all.

Besides, some entrepreneurs and organizations are afraid that they can be obliged to subscribe to such official newspapers as Sovetskaya Belorussiya as it happened to state institutions during the last subscription company.