Four years ago we launched Belsat Television, an independent news channel for Belarus. Belast is a part of Polish Television (TVP S.A.). The fact that televiosion was launched on December 10th was no accident. It is the day when the whole world celebrates Human Rights.
TV Belsat is a project financed by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Polish Television and foreign donors.
Belsat started its fourth year of broadcasting with dramatic events. Brutal repressions against demonstrators after rigged presidential elections on December 19th, 2010 marked an end to Belarusian political thaw. During those days, our journalists were in the very heart of events. Four of our contributors were detained. A cameraman was seriously beaten up when secrete services attacked one of the independent presidential candidates – Uladzimir Niaklayev. Also Belsat’s Minsk office fell victim to the new wave of repressions. Unknown perpetrators broke into the office.
During those dramatic events 12% of adult Belarusians watched Belsat, searching for independent news. In response to such need we expanded our news section, adding more programs.
The TV station has also tried to make Polish audience more aware of the political situation in Belarus. We organized a number of conferences and supported other initiatives promoting knowledge about human rights in Belarus.
During the first half of this year we focused on informing about the situation of the political prisoners. We also run a solidarity campaign both in TV and in the Internet. In dozens of clips, well-known people from different countries offered their support to the political prisoners.
The sudden dramatic turn in Belarus brought world’s attention to Belsat. Articles and storied about our channel appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Financial Times, BBC, ARD, France 24, Deutscher Rundfunk, Finish national television and many others. Belsat also became a main source of audio and video materials, as well as commentary on Belarus for many Polish media.
Belsat’s director Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy participated in a meeting with the president of the United States Barack Obama, during his visit to Poland. He told her he was proud of Belsat’s work. Also, the House of Representatives expressed their support for Belsat.