Police are conducting checks on our work in Belarus. According to unaccredited sources, the checks will extend for a month. The information on another wave of law enforcement bodies’ interest in our channel’s activity has leaked out after the detention of independent cameraman Ales Lyubyanchuk.
“According to our data, the investigation committee charged police to conduct the checks. Everything is possible in our country but all that matters is the question “What for?” We are going to submit documents for the accreditation of the channel. There is every likelihood that formal reasons for rejection are being sought in advance,” Mikhas Yanchuk, the official representative of Belsat in Belarus, told the information service of the channel.
Belsat TV filed documents for accreditation twice – two and three years ago. Firstly it was rejected because “the documents submitted are not confirmed to the law”. But it should be noted that the accreditation order was amended two days later after the documents had been filed, Mr. Yanchuk said. The second rejection was based on “numerous violations in the activity of the channel’s journalists which were detected be the Prosecutor’s Office ”, i.e unaccredited work.
Belsat TV is the first and so far the only independent satellite television channel in Belarus which went on air in 2007 on December 10 – The international Day of Human Rights. The channel was established as a part of Polish Public Television (Telewizja Polska S.A.), which provides technical and infrastructure support, and co-finances Belsat TV productions.
Belsat TV has broken the state-owned television monopoly on reporting Belarusian news. It is one of the reasons why the channel and its journalists are being harassed by the authorities. Belsat is not officially recognised in the Republic of Belarus.