KGB blames journalists of discrediting Belarus with articles about crisis

2009 2009-04-30T18:59:12+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

KGB officers detained a journalist and warned he must write something positive about the authorities. Otherwise Ivan roman was threatened with a criminal case for “discrediting the Republic of Belarus”. Officers of the KGB department for the Hrodna region detained journalist Ivan Roman, member of the Belarusian Association of Journalists, in Hrodna yesterday. He is a correspondent of Radio Racyja and an author of Magazyn Polski, published by the Union of Poles of Belarus, unrecognized by the Belarusian authorities. The journalist was given a written warning about responsibility for discrediting Belarus. “This document is called an official warning against illegal activities. I went to lawyers and they said our law doesn’t provide for this responsibility,” Roman told in an interview to “Nasha Niva” newspaper. According to him, the KGB officers were especially concerned over his articles about the economic state of the Belarusian enterprises. “I was told I can write only something positive, but if I gave negative information, it would be regarded as discrediting the Republic of Belarus in foreign media,” the journalist explained. Besides, he was told he had been under control since April 24, and he needed to make right conclusions. When the journalist asked if a criminal case was instigated against him, he heard it hadn’t been opened yet, but it’s possible to do at any moment.