Another hearing of Belsat TV contributor Kastus Zhukouski’s case has taken place in a Homiel court.
As reported earlier, the head of Loyeu police department Uladzimir Buhautsou took Zhukouski to court over protection of honor, dignity and business reputation. Buhautsou became offended by Zhukouski posting a video report about the brutal actions of the Loyeu police which had pictures of the policeman; and the publication ‘Policeman suing Belsat TV contributor Kanstantsin Zhukouski’ on belsat.eu.
He is seeking the disproving of this information by Zhukouski in the print media and wants to get a compensation for moral damages. The latter is estimated at 2,000 Belarusian rubles.
In June 2016, the Loyeu police have forcefully detained Belsat TV journalists when our crew was working on a news story about the state of the economy in Belarusian regions. The filming was interrupted by the policemen’s arrival. In addition, the police officers reportedly broke the channel’s equipment. According to Zhukouski, the policemen simply tortured him at the police station. Interestingly, the locals also reported the police’s violent actions.
“The plaintiff cannot provide any evidence that the Belsat’s news story contains any information compromising his honor and dignity. Therefore, we believe that the court should not satisfy his claim. Our story was unbiased, it is about the police’s lawlessness and impunity in small towns,” Alyaksei Minchonak, the official representative of Belsat TV, said after today’s hearing.
In 2016, Zhukouski has been fined 7 times for illegal production and distribution of media products (Article 22.9 of the Administrative Code), but in fact – for contribution to foreign mass media without having accreditation. Protesting against unfair decisions, he even sewed his mouth.