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OSCE Urges Belarus To Not Shut Down Newspaper

30 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's media rights wing today urged Belarus to not close down the daily "Narodnaya volya" newspaper.

In a statement issued today, Miklos Haraszti, the OSCE's Representative on Freedoms of the Media, said the shutdown of the paper is "unprecedented in the OSCE region."

Haraszti said the closure of the paper would be a "major setback" in the development of the free press in Belarus, and a great loss to Belarusian society.

Yesterday, Narodnaya Volya received notification from two state newspaper distribution companies, as well as the paper's publishing house, that they are unilaterally canceling contracts with the newspaper, citing unsubstantiated claims of violations of the law, lack of public demand for the paper, and an outstanding payment.

(RFE/RL's Belarus Service)

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