Belarusian authorities keep persecuting Homiel-based freelance journalist Kastus Zhukouski.
Another protocol has been drawn upon the journalist for ‘illegal production and distribution of media products,’ i.e. for working without accreditation. The man contributed to making the news item about swine fever in Zhlobin region. It was aired by Belsat TV on August 16.
The journalist received the protocol made by Zhlobin policemen in the mail.
Kastus Zhukouski has hit a record in receiving penalties for working without accreditation in Belarus. Over the last three years, he has been fined 17 times; the total sum reached $6,000.
Belsat TV which has been broadcasting for nine years, has been denied accreditation for its journalists during these very nine years. The Belarusian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly declared that it could not issue any accreditation to Belsat because the journalists working for the TV station … break the law.
Thus, the circle closes: journalists are denied accreditation because they break the law and they break the law, because they work without accreditation that they seek… And it explains the existence of absurdist Article 22.9 of the Administrative Code, which provides punishment for ‘illegal production and distribution of media products’. If you have accreditation, you are allowed be a journalist. If you do not have it – you are outlawed.
Since the beginning of the year, a dozen protocols have been drawn upon Kastus Zhukouski.