The General Prosecutor’s Office has sent the criminal case of incitement to divulge medical secret and its disclosure to the Minsk City Court.
Among the defendants are TUT.by journalist Katsyaryna Barysevich and an anesthesiologist of Minsk ambulance hospital Artsyom Sarokin, who, contrary to the official version, reported that Raman Bandarenka, abducted and severely beaten by unknown assailants on November 11, 2020, was sober.
According to the Prosecutor General’s Office, Barysevich “without the consent of the patient or other authorized persons, during repeated communications via telecommunications networks with Sarokin by means of requests and persuasion, induced him to provide verbal information about the hospital patient Raman Bandarenka, who was treated and died at the institution on November 12, 2020, as well as to transmit photocopies of Bandarenka’s medical records via messenger Telegram.”
At the same time Barysevich, having initially received a refusal from other doctors to provide data, was aware that the requested information, under Article 46 of the Law of the Republic of Belarus “On Healthcare” constituted medical secret, and she was not a person with the right to receive and distribute it.
Sarokin is accused of “deliberately unlawfully releasing information about the fact of Bandarenka’s admission to the hospital and his state of health, the presence his illness, diagnosis, results of medical examination and other data, including personal data”.
The publication of information about the absence of alcohol in the blood of the deceased Bandarenka, according to the General Prosecutor’s Office, and their “opposition to the official comments of state bodies caused a public outcry and created an atmosphere of distrust in the competent services.”
“This had a negative impact on the state of law and order and resulted in grave consequences: it led to an increase in tension in society, prompted citizens to conduct illegal mass events and other illegal actions,” reads the report.
In this case, the information, previously referred to by prosecutors as medical confidentiality, was subsequently declared false.
The actions of the journalist were qualified under part 5 of article 16 and part 3 of article 178 of the Criminal Code, while those of Sarokin – under part 3 of article 178 of the Criminal Code. They face up to three years in jail.