Journalists in Mahiliou face administrative charges
Local freelance journalists, Ales Burakou and Mikhail Arshynski, are accused of collaborating with foreign media that do not have accreditation in Belarus.
“Yesterday, on August 18, police Major Ruslan Marozau invited me to the police station for an interrogation concerning the fact that in October 2013 the TV channel "Belsat" showed a story about the Mahiliou slums and how people still live there,” says Ales Burakou.
Regarding the journalist’s status, the police officer said that Ales Burakou was questioned as a person facing administrative proceedings.
According to Major Marozau, the case was forwarded from the KGB, and he had to react to the possible violation.
“The police officer had a CD with a few stories about Mahiliou that were shown on Belsat. One of them concerned the Mahiliou slums. A KGB officer who investigated the case tried to determine the identity of the journalist involved in filming these stories. He showed three photos, one of which was of me, to the people, and they were supposed to identify me. So someone reportedly identified me,” says Ales Burakou.
The independent journalist stresses that he does not contribute to the TV channel and knows nothing about the stories. Moreover, Ales Burakou has been banned from entering Poland since 2009, as had a conflict with his former employers of Radio Racyja who canceled his visa.
It should be noted that the administrative liability starts from the moment of the offense. Prosecuting for such an offense is possible within two months, and if we assume that the story was broadcast on the television channel in October last year, all the terms have long expired. Ales Burakou notes that, probably, the KGB decided to remind about itself ahead of the upcoming 2015 presidential election.