Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Belarus Newspaper Threatened With Closure

br23 blog in Minsk, Belarus, writes that the prominent - and oldest - independent Belarus daily newspaper Nasha Niva is under threat of closure by the authorities. The Department of Ideology wants to close the paper down because its editor was in detention for 10 days:
Let me remind you, the editor-in-chief Andrej Dynko was detained at a bus stop on the October square on March 21st, when he tried to bring some food to the protesters on the square, who protested against massive falsification of the “election” results and demanded new elections. Later he was sentenced to a 10-day arrest after being convicted of using “foul language” in public (this man probably doesn’t even know a single swearing word; let alone publicly use it). In fact, he was detained because police heard him speaking in Belarusian language, and that was good enough reason to arrest him.

The authorities are cynically closing down “Nasha Niva” on the eve of its 100th anniversary. This legendary newspaper was founded in 1906, and it was the first ever newspaper published completely in Belarusian language. In 1915 the original “Nasha Niva” was closed after Vilnius was occupied by German troops. In 2006 the attempt to close it is ordered by the Lukashenka administration. We don’t have any German occupation in 2006. It’s Lukashenka’s Russian-Soviet occupation. And they’ve advanced very far.

There is more about the history and background of Nasha Niva here.

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