Journalist’s complaint brings no result
As it follows from the letter, received by the journalist Ivan Roman, the head of Leninski district branch of the custodial service of Hrodna, police major Zaikou thinks that his subordinates were right when they did not let the journalist to the open court hearings.
The incident took place on 16 March, when Leninski district court of Hrodna was trying the administrative case of the journalist and the activist of the Union of Poles of Belarus Andrei Pachobut. The court guards did not let Mr. Roman in, though he had his journalist certificate with him. Then the journalist demanded the complaint book and wrote there that the police were interfering with his professional duties.
According to the letter, signed by major Zaikou and dated 24 April, a check-up has been conducted on the facts, described in the complaint, and the actions of the guards were found lawful.
‘If a court sitting is declared open, there can be no access restrictions for journalists and other citizens. Of course, such actions of the police are unlawful,’ emphasizes the vice-head of the Belarusian Association of Journalists Andrei Bastunets. ‘However, pitifully enough, it is a frequent practice. Sometimes the duty officials also refer to lack of space in the room where the hearings take place. In this case one should demand that hearings be transferred to a larger room.’