KGB Persecutes ‘Belsat’ Journalist

2007 2007-12-07T21:44:09+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

A journalist from Homel, a member of the Belarusian Association of Journalists Siarhei Padsasonny applied to the regional prosecutor’s office with a complaint against the actions of the Homel oblast KGB office. 

In an interview with the BelaPAN S.Padsasonny told that on 26 November he was taken to the KGB unexpectedly, right from his house. Questions he was asked concern his journalistic activities and his possible cooperation with the Polish satellite TV channel BelSat which is to start broadcasting for Belarus on 10 December. 

‘It is possible that an informant noticed me with a video camera and hurried to inform them about it’, Padsasonny assumes. ‘That’s why the KGB workers decided that I could be working for the BelSat TV channel. But for instance, if I have a video film Godfather that doesn’t mean that I am a member of Italian mafia. Moreover, as far as I know, this channel hasn’t been launched yet.’ 

On 27 November the journalist applied to the administration of Homel oblast KGB office and the prosecutor’s office a complaint against these actions of secret services.

Another incident took place on 5 December in Tsentralny Park of Homel, where S.Padsasonny was walking with a friend. ‘The KGB officer who had taken me to the KGB and interrogated me on 16 November, approached me all of a sudden’, the journalist said. ‘The man started to swear, snatch my clothes. He explained his claims saying that I allegedly was shadowing him. He threatened with reprisal and did not let me go until I broke away.’ 

The journalist who contributes to a number of independent mass media believes that by such actions the secret services violate his rights and freedoms, in particular, the freedom of travel. S. Padsasonny again asks the prosecutor’s office to give a legal evaluation of the KGB actions.