Cartoons Searched For In Editorial Office Of “Zhoda”? 16:58, 22/02/2006
At the moment a search is carried out in the editorial office of an independent newspaper “Zhoda”. The Charter’97 press center was informed about that by the editor-in-chief of the newspaper Alyaksei Karol.
Alyaksei Karol supposes that the search could be connected with publication of an article “Political Creative Work”, illustrated by cartoons, including an image of Prophet Muhammad, in the newspaper “Zhoda” of February 18-26. This article has become a reason for a statement by Foreign Ministry of Belarus.
As we have informed, on February 21 the press service of the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Belarus issued a statement that “This publication has an openly provocative character. The cartoons have been reprinted from Western newspapers by an independent newspaper, and they run counter to the policy of the official Belarusian authorities”. According to the information the Foreign Affairs Ministry has, the materials concerning reprinting cartoons by this newspaper have been submitted to the prosecutor’s office by Information Ministry of the Republic of Belarus.
“Publication of cartoons had been made in my absence and without my sanction” told the editor-in-chief of the “Zhoda” to the BelaPAN Alyaksei Karol. “A punishment has been inflicted upon the deputy editor. I stopped distribution of this newspaper issue. Only a part of circulation had been distributed. There is nothing in the article’s text which is mentioned by the Foreign Ministry’s statement. We have told about our position in the newspaper many times: we respect all believes”.
At the moment the editor-in-chief is driving to the editorial office and cannot provide any further details of the incident.