Prosecutors warn one more independent journalist
The prosecutor's office of Homel issued a warning to Larysa Shchyrakova on May 29 for “work for NEWS Informacja production company (Poland)”.
Information about the warning was spread by the monitoring service of the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ).
Prosecutors say the company is a foreign media outlet, so one must be accredited in the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to cooperate with the company.
In March 2012, Shchyrakova was invited to a meeting in the village of Yakimava Slabada (the Svetlahorsk) district by members of the initiative group. Local dwellers were against construction of a plant to produce bleached pulp near the village. Larysa Shchyrakova introduced herself as a member of the Belarusian Association of Journalists. She looked for people able to support an idea of plant construction, but found no one.
The independent journalist uploaded the footage to Youtube. Later, it was used by some websites.
Prosecutors received claims from Uladzimir Akhremkin and Zinaida Khmarun. Akhremkin wrote, “After the video was shown on the pro-opposition website of Belsat TV channel, I realized Shchyrakova is a correspondent for pro-opposition media.” She “interviewed local dwellers under false pretense. They thought she represented official media and wanted to highlight the problem of the plant construction and convey it to Lukashenka, but she used our problems to make a report profitable for the opposition.” Akhremkin asked prosecutors to bring Shchyrakova to responsibility in compliance with Belarusian laws.
Zinaida Khmarun mentioned the “pro-opposition” mood of the report. She expected the journalist to “highlight not only disadvantages, but also advantages of the new plant”.
On the base of these letters, Larysa Shchyrakova received an official warning signed by deputy prosecutor of the region, senior counselor of justice Henadzy Ramanyuk.