Belarusian market vendors have held a protest action in the center of Minsk on Monday.
Beginning 2016, Belarusian self-employed businessmen selling clothes and shoes have to start working in accordance with the new rules that came into force on January, 1. Lukashenka’s Decree 222 of March 16, 2014 canceled the previous benefits in the required package of accompanying documents for the goods and ordered to get for them not only consignment documents, but also a certificate for compliance with the Eurasian Economic Community.
“We will wait until someone from the Presidential Administration comes to us. I would like to add accrediting the first independent TV channel Belsat to our requirements. The channel is sure to be covering events on an impartial basis,” entrepreneur Ales Taustyka said.
The protesters adopted a resolution demanding to cancel Decree No 222. It will be handed over to the authorities. If their requirements are not met, they will organise another rlly on Monday, February 22, at 12:00
Belsat TV which has been broadcasting for eight years, has been denied accreditation for its journalists during these very eight years. Its recent request was turned down in March, 2015. The Belarusian Foreign Ministry declared that it could not issue any accreditation to Belsat TV because the journalists working for it … break the law. The document lists the names of nine persons who received warnings of the Belarusian prosecutor’s office over this case.
So 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.