Svetlahorsk: Prosecutor’s Office Continues Administrative Case against Journalist Kiryl Ksiandzou
According to the BAJ press-service
The reason for the criminal case against the journalist is that he published several articles in the unregistered small-circulation newspaper Rehiyanalnyia naviny. This week the journalist has been again summonsed to the senior assistant of Salihorsk district prosecutor Tatsiana Khrystsiuk.
Kiryl Ksiandzou is charged under article 22.9 of the Administrative Code – ‘violation of the legislation on press and mass media’. According to the new Administrative Code, enforced on 1 March 2007, for violation of this article he can be fined 620 000 – 1 550 000 Belarusian rubles (or 300-750 US dollars).
It is already the second attempt to stage a trial of Ksiandzou. Several weeks ago the prosecutor’s office passed to court an administrative case for his article They Know Their Roles, which he published in Rehiyanalnyia Naviny. In his second article Cost of Indifference, he wrote that the kitchen gardens of many Svetlahorsk residents were in the sanitary zone of the local factories (mostly chemical ones), where the soil was not clean enough. This the prosecutor’s office considered as ‘abuse of liberty of speech’.
That time the case was sent for additional examination, as more than 2 months passed after the publication before the case was brought.
Now Svetlahorsk district prosecutor’s office accuses the journalist of defaming Aliaksandr Lukashenka by his articles in Rehiyanalnyia Naviny.
We should remind that according to article 1 of the law On press and other mass mediaё the norms of the law on press don’t cover the small periodicals with the circulation less than 300 copies, and Rehiyanalnyia Naviny.