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Belarusian Opposition Campaigns For Embattled Newspapers


Belarusian newspapers "Nasha niva" and "Narodnaya vola" face closure.

Belarusian newspapers "Nasha niva" and "Narodnaya vola" face closure.

BABRUYSK, Belarus -- The opposition United Civic Party (AHP) branch in the eastern Belarusian city of Babruysk is campaigning to support two independent newspapers threatened with closure, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

The Information Ministry filed lawsuits with the Supreme Economic Court on April 27 aimed at closing down "Nasha niva" and "Narodnaya volya," after issuing them three warnings over their allegedly "erroneous" coverage of domestic events.

Belarusian law allows the Supreme Economic Court to shut down a media outlet after it receives three such warnings from the Information Ministry.

The editors of the two newspapers say the move against them is politically motivated.

Viktar Buzinayeu, who heads the AHP branch in Babruysk, told RFE/RL that 200 signatures have been collected in support of the two papers, of which 170 have been appended to a first petition sent to Information Minister Aleh Pralyaskouski.

Buzinayeu said petitions will be sent to the ministry on a regular basis as more signatures are collected until pressure against the two newspapers ends.

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