Belarusian Helsinki Committee and International Helsinki Federation Support Narodnaia Volia
BHC and International Helsinki Federation call on Chyrvonaia zorka, Belsayuzdruk and Minharsayuzdruk to continue the printing and distribution of the non-governmental daily Narodnaia volia, reported Radio Liberty.
These organizations view the actions undertaken by the Belarusian authorities "a shameful attack on the freedom of speech" and urge the Supreme Court of Belarus to immediately suspend the court ruling taken by Leninski Borough Court of Minsk, and reconsider it according to the international commitments of Belarus.
We would like to remind you that Leninski Borough Court of Minsk ruled that the Narodnaia volia should pay to the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Belarus Siarhei Haidukievich 100 million ruble worth of damages for an article on the economic cooperation of the LDP leader with Saddam Hussein's regime.
On 29 September the Narodnaia volia transferred to the account of Leninski Borough Court of Minsk 15 million rubles in favor of the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Belarus Siarhei Haidukievich. This money was donated to the paper by the readers in response to a call from the senior editor of the Narodnaia volia Iosid Siaredzich. Thus, the paper has already paid to Siarhei Haidukievich 85 million rubles of the 100 million ruble fine. This money was transferred to the bank account of the editorial office by the newspaper readers. 100 million rubles would have been paid out, if Belposhta had transferred 35 million ruble worth of the subscription, however this money was not transferred.
Meanwhile people continue to come to the editorial office to donate or loan money to pay the fine. Nina Valatauskaia, a retired woman, came to lend 100 dollars which she had saved up over several years from her small retirement benefit: "I want a different future for Belarus. I lend my money for some term. I want to help. If you do nothing, who knows what will happen to this country".
The independent daily is supported by famous Belarusians, officials, but not all of them want their name to be known because they occupy quite high-ranking positions now.