A certain “Andrei” from the KGB came to the man’s workplace and demanded that he admit collaboration with Belsat. He wanted to receive information about independent journalists.
KGB has put pressure on the STV video editor Alyaksandr Shymko by threatening him with dismissal from the TV station and “black list”, thus trying to get him to confess collaboration with Belsat.
A man in civilian clothes who introduced himself as “an employee of the state security service,” Andrei Andreyevich, visited the editing engineer of STV Alyaksandr Shymko at work. Threatening dismissal, “Andrei” demanded that Alyaksandr admit collaboration with the TV channel Belsat and told him to inform “Andrei” of all his editing work.
The next morning, Andrei was waiting Alyaksandr Shymko at the shop and tried to force him to go to the KGB to get analyzed by a polygraph. The video engineer refused to go without subpoena — then the KGB operative gave him to sign a document “prescribing” him with the duty to come on Friday, February 12, to the KGB office at 30 Kamsamolskaya Str. The paper indicated that in case of absence he could face a fine of 20 to 50 base units.
“Recently we have seen an increase in the attention of special services of Belarus to independent media,” commented on the situation the Head of the Legal Commission of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee (BHC) Harry Pahanyaila.
Despite several attempts to get official accreditation in Belarus, the TV channel Belsat was refused every time. Journalists regularly receive heavy fines for their cooperation with Belsat (for “working without accreditation”).