BELARUSIAN ASSOCIATION OF JOURNALISTS ISSUES STATEMENT ABOUT PHONE THREATS TO JOURNALIST IRYNA MAKAVETSKAYA
January 13 Homel city organization of BAJ issued a statement about telephone threats to journalist Iryna Makavetskaya. Makavetskaya, Homel reporter of the BDG newspaper, is a member of Homel BAJ branch. The document was addressed to Homel region Prosecutor A. P. Palavinka, and head of department of internal affairs of Homel region administration, V. F. Yaromkin.
In their statement, BAJ members state they are "extremely concerned" about telephone threats to their colleague. BAJ members expressed their special concern about the fact, that the "reason of the middle-of-the-night call is the professional activity of Iryna Makavetskaya". The journalists request the prosecutor’s office and the department of internal affairs are to identify the person making threats to her. They also state the authorities should ensure personal security for Iryna Makavetskaya.
"Violence and intimidation of people for their professional activity must not be tolerated, -- says the statement, -- one must not allow the situation, when as the result of threats journalists will not be able to freely express their opinions, receive and spread information on pages of periodical editions and in radio-electronic mass-media".
Iryna Makavetskaya told BAJ press service, on January 13 she applied to Chyhunachny borough prosecutor’s office of Homel with a request to investigate into the incident. The prosecutor’s office staff accepted the application, however, they informed they were not going to consider it. Instead, they would re-address it to the police, as they were allegedly not competent to deal with such cases.