Afrique Ameriques Asie Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Belarus16 November 2006

Court upholds three-month suspension for cultural magazine

On 8 November, the Belarus supreme court for economic affairs rejected an appeal by the cultural magazine Arche against its three-month suspension, with the result that it will not be able to resume publishing until 19 December. The Belarusian state postal service has nonetheless warned Arche that if its next issue is not published by 18 December, it will be removed from postal service’s distribution list.

“This decision will in practice deprives us of our subscribers in 2007, but we will continue to operate,” said Arche editor Valer Bulhakau. The October and November issues are available on Arche’s website.

But journalist Valentin Akoudovich predicted that the magazine would not recover. “First they removed it from the news stands. Then from the bookshops. And finally they banned it from publishing,” he said.

22 November 2006

Information ministry suspends opposition monthly

читать на русском

Reporters Without Borders voiced deep concern today about the information ministry’s suspension of the monthly history magazine Arche yesterday on the grounds that the September issue violated the terms of its licence by including political articles. Arche is supposed to limit itself to historical content.

“We voice our support for Arche’s editor and we urge the information minister to reconsider his decision,” the press freedom organisation said. “The distinction between historical and political articles is specious and is just meant to mask an act of censorship.”

The September issue cover photo shows police dispersing an anti-government demonstration in March. One of its articles is a detailed account of a 1995 crackdown on opposition parliamentarians who objected to referendum imposed by President Alexander Lukashenko that would have made Russian one of the country’s official languages.

Arche’s editor, Valer Bulhakau, intends to appeal against its closure. Created in 1997, the magazine has often broached sensitive issues and criticised the Belarusian authorities. As it is an opposition magazine, it cannot be sold and is distributed by volunteers. The editor has repeatedly requested authorisation to cover politics but has had no success.

  In this country
6 March - Belarus
Call for end to unofficial ban on foreign journalists
26 February - Belarus
Judge orders two issues of cultural magazine seized and destroyed
29 January - Belarus
In show of bad faith, government again refuses to issue press accreditation to Radio Racyja journalists
27 November - Belarus
Amid signs of tentative liberalisation, government urged to do more and to resist temptation to control Internet
26 September - Belarus
Media coverage of election campaign ignores political debates and opposition

in the annual report
Belarus - Annual Report 2008
Belarus - Annual report 2007
Belarus - 2006 Annual report

Europe press releases
4 June - Kosovo
Rrokum TV station still excluded by national broadcasting network
2 June - Ukraine
Potential witness’s death deals severe blow to probe into journalist’s murder
2 June - Turkey
Woman journalist held for past five weeks on baseless charge of link to armed group
2 June - Russia
Journalist seeks asylum in Finland after being convicted for prison torture articles
29 May - France
Regrettable decision by appeal court to lift ban on magazine only if offending photo is covered up

5 February 2009 - Bulgaria
“Resignation or resistance, Bulgaria’s embattled press hesitates”
28 January 2009 - Russia
Fact-finding visit : Moscow double murder may have been linked to November attack on local newspaper editor
27 June 2008 - Turkey
Investigation report into the detention of journalist Haci Bogatekin, imprisoned for more than two months and facing ten and a half years in prison

Sign the petitions
Jusuf Ruzimuradov

Europe archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives