| POLITICS |
Belarus Curtails First Channel Broadcasting
KGB Ignored Appeal of Disappeared Relatives
On February 3 broadcasting of Russian programs at Belarusian TV channel ONT was cut down to a minimum. Only “Vremya” news program remained in the TV schedule unmoved, but it is put on the air with editorial cutting. The Belarusian side does not comment on reduction of Russian channel broadcasting, informs www.materik.ru.
NTV Reporting Yet to Be Censored
The law requires that KGB officers are to answer crime information and petition for institution of prosecution within 10 days. The relatives of the disappeared oppositionists submitted a petition on January 22. They asked to open a case on the crime in which Prosecutor General Viktar Sheiman, former Internal Affairs minister Yuri Sivakow and minister Uladzimer Navumaw, former commander of the Special Quick Respond Unit Zmicer Pawlichenka and some others are suspected. The families think that they could have been involved in abductions of Yuri Zakharanka, Viktar Hanchar, Anatol Krasowsky and Zmitser Zavadsky. On February 3 the term of consideration of the appeal ended, however KGB have not responded to it.
Visit Of Iranian FM Head to Belarus Delayed
The Russian television network NTV`s Belarus bureau resumes its work, and there will be no censoring of its coverage from the side of Minsk. It was stated in the interview to Russian information agency “Novosti” by deputy director of NTV information department Alexandr Gerasimov. As said by him, the agreement signed on January 19, 2004 on cooperation between Belarusian Ministry of Information and television network NTV “just regularizes our relations”. However, NTV take upon itself additional obligations while preparing reporting of activities of the president, government and other state establishments, Gerasimov said. “We are not to submit material to somebody`s approval. While covering any event somehow related to state institutes, we are simply to take into consideration the position of press services, who are in fact speakers of these state institutes we are to report about”
, stated Gerasimov.
The visit of Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi to Belarus which was planned on February 4 is postponed. As AFN was informed by the press service of Foreign Ministry of Belarus, the visit was rescheduled on the initiative of the Iranian side for technical reasons.