International organizations support Lohvinau
13:51, — Politics
Representatives of eight journalist organizations demand to reconsider the decision by the Ministry of Information of Belarus.
Among them are the representatives of the International Federation of Journalists, the Trade Union of Journalists of Azerbaijan, the Union of Journalists of Armenia, Independent Association of Journalists of Georgia, the Union of Journalists of Moldova, the Union of Journalists of Russia, the Foundation for Protection of Publicity (Russia), Independent media trade union of Ukraine. They all took part in a meeting “For security, rights and independent standards for journalists in the post-Soviet space” in Chisinau, the press-service of the Belarusian Association of Journalists reports.
“We are concerned over the news of the suspension of a license for publishing of the Belarusian publisher Ihar Lohvinau, - the statement says. – The Ministry of Information refers to the decision of the court of Ashmiany district of Hrodna region as of 18 April 2013, according to which the materials of the album Belarus Press-Photo 2011, issued by the publishing house were found extremists.
At the same time the very fact of the photo album having been found extremist caused very negative reaction of the international community. The accusation of an artistic album, which contained the outcome of the photo contest, of misrepresentation of the reality looks just ridiculous. As do the authorities of the country, privy to recognizing the album “extremist materials”.
The legislation on counter-extremism should be aimed at preventing serious crimes against the state and humanity, but not to be an instrument of censorship”.
The letter, signed in Chisinau on 6 October, will soon be sent to the Ministry of Information by the Union of Journalists of Moldova.
We would remind that on 23 September the individual entrepreneur Ihar Lohvinau received a notification stating that his publishing license was cancelled. The notification was signed by the first deputy Minister of Information of Belarus Lilija Ananich. According to the letter the silence was revoked “due to the gross violations of the licensing legislation”, which, in the Ministry of Information’s opinion, found its reflection in publishing the album Belarus Press Photo 2011.