Belsat TV Director Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy has initiated public fundraising to help the contributors sentenced to fines in Belarus.
Almost all Belsat TV journalists who covered social protests in February-April have been repeatedly fined by Belarusian courts.
Since mid-March, 15 fines have been imposed, the total amount has exceeded BYN 10,000. In 13 cases, the penalties were given imposed for ‘working without accreditation’, other two – for ‘using foul language’.
Romaszewska-Guzy has appealed to the Polish public for contributions.
“Dear friends and acquaintances, I am asking you to help the persecuted Belsat journalists – they are often detained and tried; recently, they have been burdened with heavy fines. You can transfer money to the bank account by the Association of Polish Journalists (Stowarzyszenie Dziennikarzy Polskich):
PKO BP SA 17 1020 1097 0000 7802 0262 0524
SWIFT: BPKO PL PW, IBAN:PL
Belsat is a unique television and web project created on the model of the former Radio Free Europe. Although the best part of our staff does not like the dictator who turned their country into a gloomy Soviet reservation, we do not aim at toppling president Lukashenka. Moreover, it is currently becoming more and more difficult to live in the country that is facing acute economic problems. In Belarus, the Russian language and the relics of the era of the hammer and sickle prevail; the national culture has been put on the backest of back burners; the best sons and daughters of the country are sentenced on the basis of not only false, but often absurd testimony of police officers in courts bearing a close resemblance to the Polish crime chambers in the 80s.
However, we adhere to the old-fashioned principle (which is not always popular in Poland) that media outlets should not be involved in politics and overthrowing governments. Mass media provide people with knowledge and information about the world, but decisions are to be made by citizens themselves.
Would the Poles have learned about the massacre on the coast in the 70s, strikes in the 80s,if it had been not for the radio stations which were permanentle attempted to jam?”
It would be a defeat of both Belsat TV and her if it turned out that the channel promotes a particular ideology, Agnieszka Romaszewska Guzy stresses.
“Belsat TV is a joint Polish-Belarusian project that lays a solid foundation for mutual understanding between our countries. Such understanding can be built on our common history, solidarity, mutual respect and bonds of friendship.
In this sense, Belsat serves the national interests of Poland, because policy changes, international organizations such as the European Union, and, on the other hand, the Union State emerge, evolve and even disappear, but Poles and Belarusians remain neighbours,” she says.