Prosecutor’s Office warns independent journalist

Zmitser Krauchuk has been given due warning in the Minsk Prosecutor’s Office. In order to prove the fact of the journalist’s contribution for Belsat TV Belarusian law machinery pursued a special investigation.

The cameraman was invited to the Prosecutor’s office telephonically. Mikhail Khortau, Senior Prosecutor of the Minsk Office, served him a written warning on impermissibility of unaccredited contribution for foreign media. «According to the documents and information available on January 24, 2012 at the Minsk city court building you were filming and interviewing the people who were present at the consideration of case upon the cassational appeal of [Ales – Belsat] Bialiatski,» the document stated. «The fact of your contribution for foreign media, including Polish channel Belsat, is evidenced by the news item [containing Krauchuk’s footage – Belsat] appeared in Belsat TV evening news show “In Focus”.»

The official warning was issued by Minsk Deputy Prosecutor Kazimir Kezhun.

«Mikhail Khortau, who served me the warning, was very polite. We hardly had a discussion; the documents had been prepared before and, to my mind, I am not the only one to be warned,» Zmitser Krauchuk said. He leaves open the possibility of special evidence being used for legal rationale of the warning: it is not uncommon that Belarusian plainclothes officers film both protest actions and independent journalists at work.

Another journalist, Volha Chaychyts was also called to the Prosecutor’s Office, but she refused to go there demanding an official notice.


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