Minsk police summon Belsat TV contributors en masse

Six Belsat TV contributors have been summoned to Savetski district police department in Minsk.

Katsyaryna Andreyeva is to appear there at 11:30; Tatsyana Belashova is expected to come at 12.00. Cameramen Vital Dubik and Syarhei Kavaliou will be questioned at 12:30.

After a break, the policemen will start meeting with the journalistic duo Volha Czajczyc and Andrus Kozel at 14:30.

According to the summonses given, administrative cases under Article 22.9 (illegal production and distribution of media products) are being processed against the journalists. But none of them knows what exactly was the reason for opening the cases and why so many people are being called to the police on one and the day.

“We will not go to the police, there is no sense. I do not know for certain, but I think that they want to interrogate us over the Chernobyl Path rally, because all of us were working there,” Czajczyc, who has been tried six times in 2018, said.

According to the Belarusian Association of Journalists, last year, 94% of fines for alleged illegal manufacturing of media materials fell on the journalists of Belsat.

Belsat TV which has been broadcasting over ten years, has been repeatedly denied accreditation for its journalists in Belarus. The Foreign Ministry has declared that it could not issue any accreditation to Belsat because the journalists working for the TV station … break the law.

The OSCE and Reporters Without Borders have recently condemned the persecution of Belarusian journalists.

“The ten fines imposed in 2016 rose to 69 in 2017 and have already reached 48 in the first four and a half months of 2018 – 46 of which went to Belsat TV reporters,” RSF stressed.


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