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The Belarusian Association of Journalists warns: the new Law on Information and Informatization may restrict freedom of expression

Author: Mikhail Doroshevich


On April 12, by the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) conducted a press-conference on the Draft Law on Information, Informatization and Information Protection" developed by the Parliamentary Committee on Industry, Energy, Transport, Communications and Entrepreneurship. Speaking at the press-conference, BAJ vice-chairman Andrei Bastunets emphasized that the new law may generate negative impact on the Belarus citizens' right to freedom of expression.

According to Andrei Bastunets, the Draft Law includes provisions for heterogeneous and manifold relations which are controlled, governed and regulated by other judicial acts. Moreover, in some cases the new draft law contradicts to the current legislative acts. Some of the Draft Law provisions are too general, while the others are too detailed, said BAJ vice-chairman. And, what is more important, there are provisions in the Draft Law which contradict to Belarusian Constitution, and to international standards and norms.

Mikhail Pastuchov, the head of the BAJ division for journalists' legal protection, explained that the Draft Law includes provisions on state system of information protection headed by the president and State Centre of Information Security subordinate to the president. National Academy of Science will be authorized to register all "information resources", offline as well as online. Divisions for the information dissemination control and supervision are to be established in every state institution and every government body involved in "information with restricted access" circulation.

BAJ official comments on the Draft Law has been sent to the Lower chamber of Belarusian Parliament.

Useful links:

The Belarusian Association of Journalists
The House of Representatives
Law Of The Republic Of Belarus "On Information, Informatization and Protection of information" (in English)
Draft Law On information, Informatization and Information protection (in Russian)

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