Minsk court dismisses Belsat TV cameraman’s appeal against confiscating equipment

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Minsk City Court has dismissed the appeal of Belsat TV cameraman Ales Barazenka and upheld the ruling of Pershamayski district on imposing a fine and the confiscation of property in connection with the ‘illegal use of the Belsat trademark’.

This decision has been taken by judge Yauhen Hatkevich.

“I did not expect them to deliver a different sentence. If they did not want to seize our equipment, they would not have got the ball rolling. But we will continue to file appeals – to the chairman of the City Court, and then, if necessary, to the Supreme Court” said Barazenka.

Om October 10, judge Anastasiya Papko imposed a fine of BYN920 ($460) on Barazenka; the expensive video equipment which had been seized from the journalist on March 25 and at Belsat TV offices on March 31 were be confiscated as well.

As reported earlier, Minsk department for combating economic crime drew up a report on Barazenka “for violation of copyright, related rights and patent” (Article 9.21). The cameraman believes that the case was launched to confiscate the equipment he was using.

The main evidence is mysterious logo stickers on the equipment, which, according to the reporter, appeared on his camera after it had been seized by the police. In July, Pershamayski district court in Minsk started considering the case of Ales Barazenka.

Our colleague was arrested during the live broadcast from the non-parasite march and Freedom Day celebration in Minsk, accused of ‘disorderly conduct’ and sentenced to 15 days in jail. According to riot policemen who were witnessing in court Ales was shouting, waving his hands, using bad language. The video above features Barazenka saying ‘I am a journalist! I am a journalist!’ when the police were arresting him. No strong language was used. After being detained, Ales Barazenka went on hunger-strike in protest.

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The case about the Belsat trademark has lasted for almost five years. According to the BELSATplus company owner, our channel has violated the interests of his business. The businessman appealed to the Supreme Court of Belarus, but it did not satisfy his demands.

Then BELSATplus company owner tried to ban our channel from using the Belsat TV trademark. But the Supreme Court dismissed the claims.

Re-examination of the case was initiated by the Presidium of the Supreme Court, and the case was heard by another panel of judges. On September 4, 2014,the court granted the appeal of Andrey Belyakou and banned our channel from using the “Belsat TV” trademark for broadcasts on the territory of Belarus and on the web page.

A similar story took place in March 2017, when the police detained another cameraman, Aliaksandr Liubianchuk during the search in Minsk offices of Belsat TV. Aliaksandr has a Belarusian MFA accreditation. They took away all his personal equipment, and took all the computers out of the ‘Belsat’ office. Along with 9 Belsat TV computers, the police seized a GoPro camera, a video camera, a picture camera, microphone which belong to the cameraman. “They put stickers ‘Belsat’ on my equipment and seized it,” the journalist stated.

belsat.eu

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