Mahiliou: Local official attempts to ban Belsat TV journalists from covering public event


Mikalai Shepelevich, Deputy Chairman of Mahiliou Regional Executive Committee, was trying to bar Belsat TV journalists from filming at a public hearing concerning Kronospan, the world’s largest wood-based panel manufacturer.

Meanwhile, the problem is pressing: the residents of two villages blame Mahiliou-based Kronospan factory for poisoning people and environment.

“This stench is unbearable, it is like nothing on earth, it causes headaches, allergies, asthma, coughing and vomiting,” the villagers residing in Veyna and Navasyolki say.

A public hearing into the factory’s activity was held in Veyna. However, the local official made an attempt to prevent journalists with a video camera from entering.

He refused to introduce himself, but demanded ‘accreditation’. It is noteworthy that the event was open for all indifferent people. After a dispute the official complained to the police and senior police inspector Ruslan Klyapchukou who copied down the passport data of journalists.

According to the local residents, their children have lately started to suffer from some new disease which was never seen here before. And doctors find it difficult to diagnose – some sort of allergy, they say. At a local lake frogs died and birds disappeared. All these troubles surprisingly coincided with the beginning of Kranospan’s activity in the region.

Despite attempts to keep our journalists from performing their professional duties, Belsat TV will televise a news item about the public hearing and problems of villagers in Mahiliou region today at 21:00 (Minsk time).

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