Journalist Andrei Mialeshka gets second fine for work without accreditation
October 7, the Hrodna District Court fined Andrei Mialeshka about 500$ for violating art. 22.9, part 2 of the Administrative Code (illegal production and distribution of mass media products).
The first hearing took place on October 2; the journalist motioned to postpone the hearings in order to hire a lawyer and to get familiarized with the case materials.
Today, the hearing lasted for two hours. The article under consideration was published on the website of the Belarusian Radio Racyja at the end of August, without the name of the author. The article was neutral and told about foundation of a biological reserve in the region. The chair of botany department of Hrodna State University acted as a witness and confirmed that it was Andrei Mialeshka who had interviewed him. It took five minutes for Judge Hanna Liavusik to issue the verdict.
“I feel that courts are working like using a blueprint. And that they want to get as much money as possible from me and to distract me from work,” said the journalist. This is the second fine he received for work, the first one imposed on him on June 16. He failed to overturn the ruling in the first court of appeal, and is preparing an appeal to the Supreme Court.
The Radio Racyja is a radio and a website run from the territory of Poland; is aimed for Belarusian citizens and makes news in the Belarusian language. The radio and its correspondents are denied accreditation here in Belarus, and the radio staff in managing position are denied entry to Belarus even as tourists.