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Belarusian Poet In Trouble Over 'Samizdat' Newspaper

Belarusian bard and poet Heorhi Stankevich
Belarusian bard and poet Heorhi Stankevich
BESHANKOVICHY, Belarus -- A poet in northwestern Belarus is in hot water over a "samizdat" newspaper he edits, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Heorhiy Stankevich, who is a teacher and known in Belarus as a bard and poet, has been issuing his newspaper "Kryvinka" in the town of Beshankovichy since 2007.

The publication -- which covers primarily social and cultural issues -- is not regular and appears only when Stankevich raises enough money to print an issue in a local publishing house.

Stankevich never prints more than 290 copies, as that quantity does not require official registration to obtain permission to print it.

Two local women filed separate lawsuits against Stankevich on the grounds that they keep finding his newspaper in their mailboxes, although they have not subscribed to it.

Stankevich duly appeared in Beshankovichy district court on December 1 on a charge of "illegal distribution of media."

Stankevich told RFE/RL that he has never encountered such problems before.

He said police arrested him on November 5 after he distributed his newspaper in his neighborhood. Police told him then that they had been notified about his newspaper, and therefore he would face an administrative hearing.

Judge Volha Belavuch adjourned the hearing until December 5, saying the two women who filed the lawsuit and the policeman who filed the case against Stankevich should be present.

Read more in Belarusian here

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