Belarusian authorities start fighting against satellite dishes
Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007

The Belarusian authorities have started restricting the access to foreign mass media for Belarusians, the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza reports, adding that broadcasting of the first Polish TV channel through the cable network and common satellite dish in the Grodna region was already stopped in the autumn 2005. “The next target,” the newspaper writes, “is the owners of individual satellite dishes”. The daily describes “pioneering actions” taken by the authorities in Lida, where it is now necessary to have an official permit for installing the dish.

Gazeta Wyborcza quotes former candidate of the democratic forces for the Belarusian presidency Alyaksandr Milinkevich who told the newspaper “the authorities are eager to restrict the access to alternative sources of information”. According to Milinkevich, this is a response on creation of the Polish TV channel for Belarus because “Lukashenka is afraid of the TV more than of Brussels, Moscow and Washington taken together”.

Meanwhile in an intervew with the newspaper’s correspondent, representatives of the Lida authorities declared that their actions were not politically motivated. That was reported by the Radio Svaboda.

(Source: Charter ‘97)