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New government regulations may restrict distribution of foreign publications

(CJES/IFEX) - The Belarusian government has made a decision toughening the procedures for issuing permits to disseminate foreign media publications, Yezhenedelnik reported on February 2, 2010.

The following provision has been added to regulations governing procedures for issuing permits to disseminate foreign media publications: "Permits for the dissemination of foreign media products on the territory of the Republic of Belarus are issued if such products do not contain information and materials harming national security, promoting war, violence, cruelty, extremism, toxic and psychotropic substances for non-medical purpose, information whose dissemination is prohibited or access to which is restricted in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Belarus and resulting in other violations of the legislation of the Republic of Belarus."

The document gives the Information Ministry the right to contact appropriate authorized public bodies for confirmation that the foreign media products meet the requirements outlined in the law.

This in effect means that any public body in Belarus will now have a right to ban the dissemination of any foreign media publication in the country.

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