The Belarusian information ministry on November 16 and 17 issued warnings to four private newspapers, accusing them of violating the Mass Media Law.
The exact reasons behind the warnings to the Va-bank, Nasha Niva, Narodnaya Volya and Belarus version of Russia’s popular tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda were not immediately clear.
Officially, the Va-bank was warned against violating articles governing the re-registration of a media company and the distribution of banned information, the Nasha Niva against violating Article 34 that governs the status of a journalist, the Narodnaya Volya against distributing banned information and the Komsomolskaya Pravda in Belarus against violating the article that specifies the major principles of a media company’s activity.
The ministry gave the newspapers 10 days to remedy the "violations" of the law.
The editorial staffs of the newspapers are not aware of the reasons behind the warnings, Volha Babak, spokesperson for the Belarusian Association of Journalists, told BelaPAN. "The Nasha Niva editorial staff said that they had not heard of any warnings or received them in writing," she said. "The Narodnaya Volya editorial staff seems to have been charged under the anti-extremism article. The editors of the Komsomolskaya Pravda in Belarus are trying to check the information posted on the ministry’s web site."