Independent journalist warned for cooperation with Belsat again

2009 2009-09-23T17:52:52+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Aleh Razhkou has received a second official warning from the regional prosecutor’s office “for activities on behalf of Belsat”.

The BelaPAN reminds that the journalist received the first warning in February 2009 with the same wording.

Aleh Razhkou was told in the prosecutor’s office that it is inadmissible to work for foreign mass media without accreditation by the Foreign Ministry. As informed by the journalist, on September 22 he was summoned to the Prosecutor’s office of Homel region. A worker of the prosecutor’s office Alesya Rabtsava told to the journalist that an appeal was lodged against him from the head doctor of the regional mental health clinic. As said by Rabtsava, it was stated in the appeal that Razhkou and his colleague Tatsyana Bublikava visited the hospital and, having presented themselves workers of Belsat TV channel, asked him to comment on dismissal of one of psychiatrists. As said by the doctor, journalists had badges with their names and the Polish satellite TV channel’s name.

The head doctor saw the interview on air of Belsat, and then learnt that it is an “oppositional” TV channel. The head of the medical institution decided his rights had been violated, and turned to the prosecutor’s office.

“I wonder, why did the head doctor decid later that his rights had been violated, though we presented ourselves as journalists of Belsat, according to his words? Moreover, we didn’t say we were from a TV channel, we said we are members of the Belarusian Association of Journalists making an item for one of websites,” Razhkou said.

As said by the journalist, it was an oral warning, but he does not exclude that he can receive a written warning later by post. A representative of the prosecutor’s office notified him that after the third warning to a journalist an administrative process could be initiated. Razhkou underlined that he is not an employee of Belsat, so to call him a television worker is ignorant in terms of the law.