Belarusian PEN-Center Protests Against Lukashenko’s Crackdown on Freedom of Media 11:02, 26/04/2002
“The Belarusian regime made another step towards the clampdown on the civil freedoms and human rights violations. Another regime’s victims were the periodic literature editions. In particular, magazines “Polymya”, “Maladost”, “Krynitsa”, “Neman”, weekly “Literatura I Mastatstva” – all these editions have been driven into the state media holding,” – reads the statement of the Belarusian PEN-Center, circulated by it on April 25.
“Explanations that media holdings were set up with a purpose to “accumulate financial resources”, “most effectively use budget donations”, “optimize the publishing process” – are totally hypocritical. It is clear that this “literature kolkhoz” has been created from the political, rather than economic motives: the regime is trying hard to oust the national democratic literature from its last strongholds, seeking to convert them into its mouthpieces.”
“However, the formation of the so-called media holding is not only dangerous – it is illegal, anti-constitutional and contradicts Art.33/3 of the Belarusian Constitution, which reads: “Monopolization of mass media by the state, public amalgamations or individuals, as well as censorship, is inadmissible. The holding’s formation also contradicts art.4 of the Law on press,” – states the Belarusian PEN-Center, decisively denouncing such shameful policy of the Belarusian authorities and revealing their nature to the Belarusian and international community.