The author and presenter of programs ‘Human Affairs’ and ‘Zaleuski’s Report’ is charged with of illegal collection and distribution of information. Ales Zaleuski may be sentenced to a fine.
The administrative case is to be tried in Korelichy district court. Mr Zaleuski is an employee of the Polish Public Television (TVP S.A), Belsat TV being a structural unit of it.
It is not the first time when independent journalists have been sued in Hrodna region. For example, after Hrodna-based journalist Aliaksandr Dzianisau had filmed an interview with theatre director Aleh Zhugzhda who revealed details of his staging play ‘Faust. Dreams’ and the footage had appeared on Belsat TV Mr Dzianisau was Blr 4.5 mln fined (appr. 450$).
‘Hrodna authoroties decided to put into practice the newly-adopted Article 22.9 of the Administrative Code. It practically abolishes the right for free collection and distribution of information which is guaranteed by the constitution. According to police officers, this article carries punishment for journalists’s work without accreditation,’ the press service of the Belarusian Association of Journalists says.
It is to be recalled that in March, 2013 Belsat TV made its third attempt to get a formal accreditation and filed all the necessary documents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. But in vain: the Ministry’s officers refused to register its correspondent office in Minsk referring to Belsat contributors’ alleged law violations. As our journalists and contributors have to perform their professional duties without any accreditation they repeatedly draw fire from public officers.