Journalist Andrei Mialeshka fined 4.5 mln
On June 16, Andrei Mialeshka, a journalist from Hrodna, was convicted of illegal manufacture of media products. This is the third similar lawsuit in the region, says the press service of the Belarusian Association of Journalists.
The Hrodna Kastrychnitski District Court came to the conclusion that, when preparing a material for the Belarusian Radio Racyja (Bialystok, Poland), Andrei Mialeshka acted without accreditation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus and thus violated Article 22.9 of the Administrative Code.
The charges against the journalist stemmed from a publication posted on Radio Racyja’s website on April 17 and signed by an invented name Ihar Mikalayeu. On the basis of the evidence collected, police officers argue that this publication was prepared by Andrei Mialeshka, who had no right to work without the MFA’s accreditation.
At previous meetings held on 4 and 11 June, Judge Dzmitry Kedal first summoned additional witnesses, and then made a request on a number of warnings issued to the journalist by local Prosecutor’s Office over his work without accreditation.
Remarkably, this is the third case of this kind in the Hrodna region. On April 4, “for the illegal production of media products”, a 4.5 mln fine was imposed on a member of the Belarusian Association of Journalists, Ales Dzianisau, and on May 27 – on the author and presenter of the TV channel "Belsat" Ales Zaleuski.
According to lawyers, such court decisions violate the constitutionally guaranteed right to freely collect and disseminate information. Andrei Mialeshka says he is going to appeal against the verdict.