Belarusian Association Of Journalists Statement On Deportation Of Mikhail Padalyak, Journalist Of “Vremya” Newspaper
The Board of the Belarusian Association of Journalists expresses emphatic protest in connection with deportation of Mikhail Padalyak, journalist of the newspaper "Vremya" from Belarus.
Mikhail Padalyak is the citizen of Ukraine, but he constantly lived and worked in Belarus. His wife is Belarusian citizen. In the early morning of June 21 2004 the journalist has been detained in his apartment by police and KGB and escorted outside the country. The decision to deport the journalist was taken by KGB. The journalist is banned from entering Belarus for the period of five years.
According to the center of information and public relations of KGB, the basis for decision on the deportation was tendentious coverage of sociopolitical conditions in Belarus by the newspaper "Vremya", in which he was " the organizer of issue". "The materials published in the newspaper contained slanderous fabrications about the state of affairs in the country and appeals to destabilize the political situation in Belarus", the press release says.
Despite requirements of the law "On immigration" and Regulations on the order of deportation of foreign citizens and persons without citizenship, Mr. Padalyak has not been preliminary notified on the reasons of the forthcoming deportation or on the place and time of consideration of the given issue by corresponding bodies. Thus his rights on personal presence when hearing a question on deportation and possibility of appealing the decision have been violated.
The Belarusian Association of Journalists:
• regards deportation of Mr. Padalyak a gross violation of the rights to receive and distribute information and express opinion, infringement of constitutional norms and international legal obligations of Belarus in the field of freedom of speech;
• considers inadmissible intervention in the professional work of journalists and holding them responsible outside of legal proceedings;
• denounces the act of political censorship carried out by KGB with the sanction of the Office of Public Prosecutor of Belarus;
• notes infringements of the current legislation during consideration and decision-making on deportation of the journalist.
• declares that it is not journalistic activities that represent the threat to state security of Belarus, but the lack of control of special services by civil society and intolerance of authorities to a different opinion.
Adopted by the Board of the Belarusian Association of Journalists on June 21, 2004.
Belarusian Association of Journalists (www.baj.ru)
THE INFORMATION DEPARTMENT OF "VIASNA"