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Belarusian Weekly Warned Again About Subway-Bombing Reports

"Nasha niva" editor Andrey Skurko has denied any wrongdoing.
"Nasha niva" editor Andrey Skurko has denied any wrongdoing.
MINSK -- 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/RL'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/RL the article was printed under the rubric "Comments and Thoughts." He said all such articles reflected 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 did 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 on April 12 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 said on April 15 that 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