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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 November 2005, 15:16 GMT
Polish press in Belarus protest
By Adam Easton
BBC News, Warsaw

Self-censored front page
The paper says it has not run censored editions since 1989
Two leading Polish newspapers have published censored front pages to protest against curbs on freedom of speech in neighbouring Belarus.

The papers have teamed up with Amnesty International for the campaign being carried out in Poland and Brussels.

Organisers say they want to raise awareness in the European Union of the civil rights abuses committed by Alexander Lukashenko's regime.

Black marker pen has been run through the headlines, photographs and text.

Underneath a caption says this is "how freedom of speech looks in Belarus".

Postcards

Leading daily Gazeta Wyborcza writes that it is the first time since communism fell in 1989 it has published a censored front page.

It invites its readers to send an enclosed Amnesty International postcard to Belarussian President Lukashenko expressing concern about his lack of tolerance for dissent.

The human rights group has also put up 30,000 posters in major Polish cities and Brussels.

The posters are portraits of five Belarussian politicians and journalists. Each face has grey masking tape placed over the mouth.

Opposition leaders in the former Soviet republic say Mr Lukashenko has become increasingly authoritarian, suppressing freedom of speech and jailing dissenters.


SEE ALSO:
Belarus opposition closes ranks
03 Oct 05 |  Europe
Walesa backs Belarus revolution
14 Aug 05 |  Europe
Poland seeks EU help on Belarus
30 Jul 05 |  Europe


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