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Independent Weekly Warned of "Possible Consequences" for Blast Coverage


Belarus -- A police officer checks the belongings of a subway commuter at Oktyabrskaya metro station, Minsk, 14Apr2011

Belarus -- A police officer checks the belongings of a subway commuter at Oktyabrskaya metro station, Minsk, 14Apr2011

The editors of the Belarusian weekly
newspaper "Nasha niva" have been officially warned about an article the
newspaper published on the Minsk subway terrorist attack, RFE's Belarus
Service reports.

In the article, "Colonel Baradach: A Special Services Agent Placed The
Explosives," a former Belarusian military officer shared his thoughts regarding
the April 11 subway bomb attack that killed 13 people and injured more than 150
others.

The ex-officer said the explosion might have been organized by groups within
Belarus's political elite who were interested in destabilizing the situation in
the country.

Deputy Prosecutor-General Mikalay Kuklis has officially warned "Nasha niva"
editors about the article and demanded a written explanation on why it was
published.

Andrey Skurko, chief editor of "Nasha niva," told RFE the article was
printed under the rubric "Comments and Thoughts." He said all such articles
reflect the opinions of individuals in Belarusian society who have a right to
express and share their views on social, political, and economic issues.

Skurko said the newspaper's editors do not think they did anything illegal.

The KGB summoned Skurko for questioning on April 19 and warned him he
could be held responsible for "revealing classified information related to the
investigation into the Minsk subway bombing."

It was the newspaper's second warning for its reporting on the subway bombing.

The Information Ministry warned "Nasha niva" last week about the "possible
consequences" of its coverage of the bomb blast.

The newspaper wrote last week that when President Alyaksandr
Lukashenka was laying flowers to commemorate the victims of the explosion, one
victim, a young woman, was still lying under the debris and remained there
until late that night.

But the ministry later said the "Nasha niva" report was
"erroneous" because all the dead and injured passengers were promptly taken to
morgues and hospitals.

The ministry did not say what the "possible consequences" for the newspaper
might be.

Read more in Belarusian here:
http://www.svaboda.org/content/article/9499691.html

Compiled by RFE's Belarus service and O wire.
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