Enough to make cat laugh: lawsuit over “extremist” photobook

A court session in camera initiated by the KGB has started in Ashmiany (Hrodna region). Chekists are out of scalps calling on the court to define photobook Belarus Press Photo-2011 as one of extremist nature.

“We shoot the thing we see and never call for anything,” photographer Aliaksandr Vasyukovich whose picture was recognised extremist by the expert board, “It seems to me that it must be the work of apple-polishers. This is the only explanation I can give,” he said.

“To my mind, the situation is like a circus. It is a pity that the proceedings are being held behind closed doors and a wide public are not able to actually see it. The pictures included in the photobook report on the events of 2010. What is the most absurd is that dear experts had their claims not only to so called politically charged photos but to the ones in categories Sports and Nature as well,” photojournalist Yuliya Darashkevich, one of the organisers of contest Belarus Press Photo-2011, said.

The State Security Committee (KGB) Department in Hrodna filed a lawsuit in court demanding to declare the contents of photobooks Belarus Press Photo-2011 extremist. Referring to experts’ opinion, the KGB states that the photobook includes distorted and untrue pictures of Belarus’ political, economic and social life.

The board that expertized the photobook included Vadzim Khilyuta, the HOC of the department of criminal law and criminology of Law Faculty at Hrodna University, Aksana Shulga, the HOC of foreign languages department at Hrodna University, Aliaksandr Bondar, assistant professor of Arts Faculty at Hrodna University, and Pavel Skrabko, the Head of Ideology Department in Hrodna Executive Committee. The latter can boast of experience of that kind: earlier he tried to find elements of libel on the Belarusian president and discrediting the country in Andrzej Poczobut’s articles.



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