Journalist Zmitser Krauchuk Warned in Minsk
In total, the prosecutor’s office has already issued six warnings to journalists this year.
On the morning of March 22 independent cameraman Zmitser Krauchuk visited the prosecutor’s office of Minsk, where he had been invited by phone.
According to the journalist, he had a talk with the senior prosecutor of the office Mikhail Khortau who gave him a written warning against collaboration with foreign mass media without accreditation (Art. 35/4 of the “Law on mass media”), dated March 22 and signed by the Prosecutor’s Deputy K. Kezhun.
“Everything was polite, fine, quick…The only thing I understood – it is not in vain that they walk with video cameras,” said Krauchuk. He explained that the “incriminating evidence” was collected from the video materials, made by the “colleagues” in plain clothes during different city events. For instance, the document says “according to the actual information and document”, Z.Krauchuk on January 24, “Being near the Minsk City Court building, made video and interviewed citizens who were present at the court hearing of the appeal against the sentence of Bialiatski A.U.”
The independent journalist and BAJ member Volha Chaychyts, after she received an invitation to the General prosecutor’s office of the Republic of Belarus via phone, refused to appear there without an official summons.
Previously, some other journalists received similar warnings from the prosecutor’s office: Zmitser Kisel (Brest, March 19, warning dated February 27); Grazhyna Shalkevich (Hrodna, February 27), Aliaksandr Dzianisau and Viktar Parfionenka (Hrodna, Bebruary 21), Mikola Dziatchenia (Hrodna, February 16). The recent address of PA “BAJ” to Hrodna prosecutor’s office regarding these warnings was useless.
Besides, three journalists have received verbal warnings from the KGB in 2012: Grazhyna Shalkevich (January 30), Yauhen Parchynski (Polatsk, February 22), Andrey Mialeshka (February 28).