Hrodna: Belsat TV host fined for livestreaming on Freedom Day

A Hrodna court has served a fine of 857 rubles on Pavel Mazheyka, the host of Belsat TV program Intermarium.

On March 25, Belarus’ unofficial Freedom Day, the journalist worked live for our channel – he was covering the event in Hrodna. It should be noted that tha rally was authorised by city authorities.

According to the protocol made by police officer Vadzim Nalivayka, Mazheyka was charged with illegal production and distribution of media products (Article 22.9 of the Administrative Code).

Judge Dzmitry Bubenchyk decided to fine our colleague.

“One thing is clear: the task of the authorities is to oppress independent journalists in Hrodna, exert pressure on them. The courts are keeping up the facade of their busywork – my case materials even contained information about my trip abroad in 2012. In fact, everything depends on the orders the judge received from above. But it is no big deal, we are holding on,” Pavel Mazheyka said.

According to him, the cases initiated against Belsatters is nothing but political persecution, but independent journalists should ‘be ready’ for that. He is not going to appeal against the judgment, because, in his opinion, it would be a ‘waste of time and effort’.

During the current year, nearly 40 fines have been imposed on Belsat TV journalists and contributors. They will have to pay over 31,000 Belarusian rubles to the state budget.

According to Reporters Without Borders, it is our journalists who are harassed by Belarusian government agencies most. In 2017, Belsat TV journalists paid over $ 14,000 of fines. 94% of fines for the so-called illegal production of media products fell on Belsat TV contributors, the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) reported.

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