Volha Czajczyc and Andrus Kozel are accused of illegal production and distribution of media products.
This time, the freelance journalists will be tried for contributing to the news story ‘Minsk residents confronting Border Committee overbuilding in city center’ which was aired by Belsat TV in October.
As reported earlier, in late November, Czajczyc and Kozel received a protocol dated October 10 which said that the journalists had illegally conducted video filming. Andrus Kozel told belsat.eu that when covering the trial of cameraman Ales Barazenka, they were making a audio broadcast, which is not to be prohibited.
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.