Hrodna: Journalist accused of contribution to Belsat TV

Ales Dzianisau, a journalist from Hrodna, was summoned to police due to his alleged contribution to Belsat TV. The case refers a Belsat news item covering the first night of Faust by Goethe in the Puppet Theatre in Hrodna.

A charge sheet drawn up by police was based on the evidence given by theatre director Aleh Zhugzhda, whom Mr Dzianisau had interviewed.

‘Not being accredited by the Foreign Ministry, A. Dzianisau, a staff correspondent of Polish satellite TV channel Belsat, appeared in the building of Hrodna Puppet Theatre and interviewed theatre director A. Zhugzhda. On February, 7 the news story was broadcast by Belsat. By his conduct A. Dzianisau illegally prepared and distributed media production, which violates the Belarusian law on mass media,’ the document says.

Mr Dzianisau signed the charge sheet and admitted his talking to Mr Zhugzhda, but denied his being a staff correspondent of Belsat TV. The journalist refused to answer the question whether the story was being made for Belsat TV and did not offer any explanations for the fact that the footage filmed had been on air.

Police are about to submit the case to the court.

Hrodna Region Prosecutor’s Office repeatedly issued formal warnings to independent journalist Ales Dzianisau. In December, 2013 he was warned against ‘journalist activity without accreditation’, particularly for his covering the events held in the town of Svislach in commemoration of the 1863-64 anti-Russian uprising. The prosecutors offered in evidence the photos taken during the action in Svislach which depict Mr Dzianisau with a camera, and a Belsat TV news story containing the footage allegedly filmed by him.

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