Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 165

The Belarusan authorities have frozen the bank accounts of the country’s few independent newspapers and imposed heavy fines on them for alleged violations of tax regulations. The measure may force the newspapers — including Belaruskaya gazeta, Belaruskaya delovaya gazeta, Belarusky rynok, and Imya — to cease publication, ensuring that president Aleksandr Lukashenko monopolizes control of the printed press in addition to the audiovisual media in the runup to the planned parliamentary elections and referendum. The authorities have just forced off the air the country’s sole independent radio station. (Belaplan, Interfax, September 4 and 5. See also Monitor, September 5, and Perspective section below).

Armenian-Syrian Military Talks Reported.