BAJ never got answer to complaint regarding attack on journalists

2009 2009-10-30T16:59:31+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Minsk prosecutor’s office haven’t responded to the appeal of the Belarusian Association of Journalists regarding the events on September 16.

The journalists are going to file a complaint to higher authorities if an answer is not received by next week.

Euroradio learnt this from BAJ deputy head, lawyer Andrei Bastunets.

“Theoretically, the letter might have been sent, but a post office hasn’t delivered it. We are going to wait for some days, if we don’t get a response, we’ll complain. We will appeal to the higher prosecution agency against the Minsk prosecutor’s office in the latter doesn’t answer. What to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, we will think about the tactics,” the lawyer said.

The deadline for the answers was October 23. On October 22, deputy interior minister Yauheny Paludzen said the answer had been sent to the BAJ.

We remind that on September 16, officers of the law enforcement agencies used physical force to hinder journalists of Belarusian and foreign media to film the dispersal of a peaceful l street action.

As reported, on October 16, riot militia again blocked the work of journalists during a peaceful rally. While during the rallies on September 9 and 16 each journalist was accompanied by 2-3 persons, this time mass media journalists were encircled by 5 riot militiamen, who seized cameras and damaged equipment.

If we managed to make some photos and video footage of the outrage dispersals on September 9 and 16, this time journalists were almost unable to film anything.

Deputy minister of internal affairs of internal affairs of Belarus Yauhen Paludzen said on October 22 militia had worked out the measures that would change the form of work with journalists at mass rallies.

“The press and militia will work in such a way in the nearest time: there will be press-officers, militiamen in blue vests at mass events. Journalists will be able to refer them on all questions,” Paludzen said.

He noted that representatives of opposition movement “violated the law on mass events several times”. “Nevertheless, the Ministry of Internal Affairs took measures not to hinder work of journalists,” he added.

The deputy interior minister emphasized the Belarusian militia used the experience of their German colleagues to work out such measures.

“We have taken the experience of German police, who work at street actions of right, left and green movements. The press can’t film faces of policemen and demonstrators. Only wide shots are allowed. I think we should use this experience,” he said.

The German Journalists Association said in response to the statement of the Belarusian deputy interior minister: “If police beat people at demonstrations, the duty of a journalist is to record this.”