Hrodna Leninski Borough Procurator’s Office Warns Anzhei Pisalnik
According to the press-service of Belarusian Association of Journalists
On 2 November Hrodna Leninski Borough Procurator’s Office issued the official warning to Hrodna journalist Andzhei Pisalnik for having “insulted Belarusian people” in one of his publications. In his interview to BAJ he emphasized that the warning was issued for a publication in foreign press. It was the article “Pole of Aliaksandr Ryhoravich” published in #21 of Gloz znad Niemna newspaper (issued in Poland). Procurator Urublieuski, who signed the warning, is of the opinion the content of the article “insults the national honor and dignity” of citizens of Belarus and the present chair of the Union of Poles, Mr. Luchnik. In the case the journalist continues his “lawless activity” the procurator’s office promises to “punish him in accordance with the legal order”. At the prosecutor’s office Mr. Pisalnik was also told his actions could be qualified as violation of Article #130 of the Criminal Code. This is already the second warning that has been issued to him by Hrodna Leninski Borough Procurator’s Office lately: on 29 September he was warned about the inadmissibility to introduce himself as the chief editor of Gloz znad Niemna, weekly of the Union of Poles in Belarus.
We should remind A. Pisalnik and one more journalist, Andrei Pachobut are suspects in the criminal case brought upon Article #185 of the Criminal Code: they are suspected in threats to the chair of Polish House in Shchuchyn.
A. Pisalnik believes it’s quite significant that in the text of the warning Glos znad Niemna is mentioned as a “newspaper of the Republic of Poland” – it means the procurator’s office punished him for an article that appeared in foreign press only. He is quite disturbed with this fact as he cooperates with one more Polish edition, Rzechpospolita:
-- I have often published there articles that are unpleasant to Belarusian authorities, but there haven’t been any official pretensions to me so far, -- says A. Pisalnik.
He considers this action of the procurator’s office as an attempt to stop the edition of Glos znad Niemna in Poland. Meanwhile, it is not the first case when Belarusian citizens are punished for appearances in foreign mass media. The criminal cases upon Article #367 of the Criminal Code (insult of president) was brought against Chair of United Civil Party Anatol Liabiedzka for participation Zerkalo and Vesti Nedeli programs of Russia TV channel and against the vice-chair of Belarusian Helsinki Committee Hary Pahaniaila – for interview to TB-4 Swedish TV-channel concerning the political kidnaps in Belarus.