Another warning issued for contribution to Belsat
Vadzim Arshynski, Mahiliou cameraman and artist, has been warned by the city prosecutor’s office for ‘unauthorized shooting and interviewing’ during a charity performance at an orphanage in the town of Chavusy in December 2008, the Belarusian Association of Journalists reports. Mr.Arshynski was warned by a registered letter, without any direct conversations with representatives of the public prosecution bodies.
Mahiliou city prosecutor Siarhei Minaeu also accused Vadzim Arshynski of unauthorized publication of the interviews on the Belsat TV channel web-site. However, Mr.Arshynski claims he did not interview anyone during the concert, only videotaping the action.
"The Public Prosecutor’s Office has demonstrated just another time its ignorance of the Belarusian legislation and allowed itself to violate its norms," stated a media lawyer and Deputy Chairman of BAJ Andrei Bastunets. "It is not the first case, when a citizen is officially warned even without being permitted to provide some explanations beforehand," he added.
"Secondly, the media workers were officially warned for violation of article 11 of Belarusian Law "On the Media" that tells about the necessity of state registration of mass media. However, this norm is related to the founders of mass media. In any case it doesn’t have any relation to the employees.
Thirdly, they are talking about a Web-site. It should be emphasized in this respect that the governmental provisions on registration of on-line periodicals haven’t been elaborated so far. Therefore, their activity is not regulated by the Media Law, as by-laws on its application do not exist at the present moment of time," A. Bastunets said.
According to the BAJ media lawyers, 13 official warnings have been issued to Belarusian journalists for their alleged cooperation with foreign media since February 8, 2009, when the new Belarusian Law "On Mass Media" came into effect.