Brest: independent journalist appeals prosecutor’s warning
Alina Litvinchuk, freelance journalist in the city of Brest, submitted a complaint to the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Belarus Aliaksandr Kaniuk over an official warning addressed to her in late 2012.
The paper signed by deputy prosecutor of Brest region Aliaksandr Tochka argued that Mrs. Litvinchuk violated procedures for maintaining professional activities by a journalist of foreign mass media in Belarus, as well as working for foreign media without accreditation. The charges are based on the results of “studying the information available online.”
In her complaint, Alina Litvinchuk reports that the official warning is unreasonable and unlawful because the facts underlying it are not true. In particular, she notes that she has never been affiliated or employed by any foreign media, and therefore cannot be considered a foreign journalist. In addition, Mrs. Litvinchuk recalls that, in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ratified by Belarus, everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the right to seek, receive and impart information. Based on these findings, Alina Litvinchuk believes that the warning issued by the prosecuting authorities of Brest is a violation of civil rights and liberties, and therefore requests that it be cancelled.