Court to hold preliminary hearing on closure suit against Nasha Niva on May 11

The pro-opposition newspaper was notified of the date of the hearing by mail...

 

The Supreme Economic Court of Belarus will hold a preliminary hearing on the information ministry’s suit for the closure of the Nasha Niva private newspaper on May 11, said BelaPAN.

Court to hold preliminary hearing on closure suit against Nasha Niva on May 11The pro-opposition newspaper was notified of the date of the hearing by mail. It was not immediately clear when a preliminary hearing on a similar closure suit targeting Narodnaya Volya, another private newspaper critical of the government, will take place.

The ministry decided to file the suits under Article 51 of the Media Law in connection with the fact that at least two written warnings had been issued to each of the newspapers within a year.

Nasha Niva Editor in Chief Andrey Skurko condemned the information ministry’s suit against the weekly a “political order.”

He noted that Nasha Niva had received three written warnings: two for its coverage of “Kryostny Batska” (The Godbatska), a scandalous documentary about Alyaksandr Lukashenka that was produced last year by Russia's government-controlled NTV channel and censored from the channel's version broadcast in Belarus, and one warning for its coverage of the April 11 Minsk subway bombing.

From late 2005 through late 2008, the two newspapers were barred from being distributed through the state subscription system and through the government-controlled Belsayuzdruk network of newsstands.

In November 2008, the publications were given back access to the state distribution services, which was welcomed by the European Union as a sign of democratization.