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Bogdan Zdrojewski #1Bogdan Zdrojewski #5Bogdan Zdrojewski #6Bogdan Zdrojewski #4Bogdan Zdrojewski #2

Chair of the EP delegation for relations with Belarus concerned about the freedom of speech in the country

2015-01-14

Following the verdict issued on January 9 on the administrative case against the private publishing Unitary Enterprise "Lohvinau", Bogdan Zdrojewski (EPP, PL), Chairman of the EP Delegation for relations with Belarus, expressed his concern about the situation in Belarus in regards of the freedom speech.

"Belarus has been vividly involved in the crisis in Ukraine, mediating in the negotiations aiming to bring peace in the country striving for its freedom and independence. In this situation, the actions of the judiciary authorities in Belarus limiting the freedom of publishing and journalistic activity remain in contradiction with its attempts to be seen as a reliable partner on an international stage - said Bogdan Zdrojewski.

In December, the Inspectorate of the Ministry of Taxes and Duties of the Tsentralny district of Minsk held an unscheduled tax audit at bookstore "Lohvinau". The main claim of the tax inspectorate was that the bookstore worked without having the license of the Ministry of Information for selling printed products. On January 9, the Economic Court of Minsk issued a verdict on the administrative case against the private publishing Unitary Enterprise "Lohvinau". For selling printed production without permission from the Ministry of Information the enterprise was sentenced a fine of 5 400 000 BYR.

Moreover, the court ordered that the registered income of the enterprise for the last year, 961 milion BYR, was to be confiscated. This innovation was introduced in January 2014 "Lohvinau" tried to obtain the license 6 times in the previous year.

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