Just within one week: Police letters and court notices to Belsat journalist

Belsat TV journalist Volha Czajczyc has taken a photo of all the letters from the police and summonses to court she has received over the past week.

Volha Czajczyc is accused of illegal production and distribution of media products (Art. 22.9 of the Administrative Code).

“Our courts seem to be celebrating the birthday of Belsat TV. I have just got a phone call from Pershamayski district court of Minsk – i will have to appear there at 10:00 on December 8 for my livestreaming the trial of Belsat. On the same day, but at 9.30 I will be tried in Leninsky district court; other two cases will be considered on December 6 (in Dzyarzhynsk district court) and on December 15 (in Minsk City court),” Volha said on Facebook.

The journalist focuses on news stories and pressing social problems. Czajczyc is also known for his coverage of protest rallies in different parts of the country.

Since the beginning of the year, Belsat TV contributors have paid about $14,000 of fines to the state budget. According to Reporters Without Borders, it is our journalists who are harassed by Belarusian government agencies most.

Belsat TV which has been broadcasting for nearly ten years, has been denied accreditation for its journalists during these very nine years. The Belarusian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly declared that it could not issue any accreditation to Belsat because the journalists working for the TV station … break the law.

Thus, the circle closes: journalists are denied accreditation because they break the law and they break the law, because they work without accreditation that they seek… And it explains the existence of absurdist Article 22.9 of the Administrative Code, which provides punishment for ‘illegal production and distribution of media products’. If you have accreditation, you are allowed be a journalist. If you do not have it – you are outlawed.


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