Minsk: Belsat TV contributors to appear in court for covering trials of protesters

Lyubou Luniova and Zmitser Kravchuk have been summoned to a Minsk court.

Their cases under Art. 22.9 of the Administrative Code (violation of media legislation) will be considered on 4 December.

The journalists have not stood the chance to familiarize themselves with the protocols drawn upon them: the police expected them to on November 24, but the summonses were delivered only after the event, Krauchuk told belsat.eu.

In his opinion, the reason for making protocols might be their contribution to the news story about the trials of protesters in Minsk.

In early October, Lyubou Luniova and Zmitser Krauchuk held responsible for their August story about the closure of school 210 in Minsk. A fine of BYN 690 was imposed on each.

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.

ІІ, belsat.eu

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