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Thursday, May 19, 2005

 

Narodnaya Volya warning

Reporters Without Borders has more on the Narodnaya Volya case:

The article listed 300 Belaruskalii workers who had signed a letter backing the foundation of an opposition movement "The People's Will". Five workers denied signing and claimed the equivalent of around 18,200 euros damages from the paper.

One of the workers suing the newspaper, Syarhey Katovich, admitted in an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty having come under pressure from the company's management, as had his four colleagues. "You know, I nearly lost my job", he said.

Narodnaya Volya received the list of signatories in favour of the creation of "The People's Will" directly from the movement's co-ordinator. After receiving a letter from Belaruskalii's management, the newspaper published a retraction of the list in its 14 May edition, to avoid legal trouble.

The newspaper had received a previous warning on 13 April, for carrying an appeal from the "Defenders of the homeland", a group that was not registered with the authorities, in its 31 March edition.

Narodnaya Volya is also facing a complaint lodged on 5 April by Syarhey Haidukevich, leader of the Belarus Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), who is claiming the equivalent of 73,000 euros damages against the newspaper for having suggested that the LDP cooperated with the former Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein and received financial backing from him.

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