Prosecutor General’s Office examining activity of Belsat TV in Belarus
The Prosecutor General’s Office is examining the activity of Belsat TV in Belarus, said the Polish-based channel that is critical of the Belarusian authorities.
Belsat TV reporter Mikhas Yanchuk linked the probe to the channel’s plans to apply again for accreditation with the Belarusian authorities. “They may already be looking for formal grounds to reject [the application],” he predicted.
Belsat applied for accreditation in 2009 and 2010 and had the application rejected on both occasions. While turning down the first application, the authorities explained that the channel had failed to present some of the required documents. The following year, the authorities refused to grant the channel’s application again, saying that some Belsat TV journalists had received formal warnings from prosecutors for their work without accreditation.
The same arguments may be used by the authorities this time, Ms. Yanchuk warned.
Belsat TV started broadcasting on December 10, 2007, International Human Rights Day, under an April 2007 agreement between Polish Public Television (TVP) and the Polish foreign ministry, which finances the channel.
Belsat TV describes its mission as providing “accurate and independent coverage of events in Belarus, Europe and the rest of the world.”
Reporters in Belarus, the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Poland contribute to the channel. Earlier surveys suggested that about 200,000 people in Belarus watch Belsat TV.