Brest authorities try to punish independent journalist for work with foreign media

2014 2014-11-04T12:35:44+0300 2014-11-04T12:35:44+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Alina Litvinchuk

Alina Litvinchuk

October 29, journalist Alina Litvinchuk was summonsed to the police station as a witness of an administrative offense. However, at the police station she was informed that she was the “offender”.

Alina was
charged with violation of Article 22.9 of the Administrative Code, namely - "illegal transfer and production of information for a foreign media that is not accredited in the Republic of Belarus". The alleged victim in the case is the head of the Brest city department of the public organization "Christian Commonwealth of Youth and Adults", Aliaksandr Drachuk. Another document, attached to the case, is the appeal of the head of the Brest Regional KGB Department A. Krupenkin, where it is stated that A. Litvinchuk allegedly engaged in “illegal journalist activities” while preparing a publication about the abuse of drugs by residents of the Brest region (the article "Pupils' Peers Will Tell about Spice School", published at the website of Radio “Racyja”). The KGB officer accuses Alina Litvinchuk of violating Article 22.9 of the Administrative Code (illegal production of mass media).

reported by Alina Litvinchuk, after familiarization with the materials of the case she decided to refuse to testify, taking advantage of her guaranteed right under Article 27 of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus. Immediately after that, the police officer Dzmitry Sverba drew up an appropriate protocol and issued her a writ to appear in court on November 6. However, as it turned out, this date had not been agreed with the judge. In addition, the information about the victim and the witnesses wasn't put in the violation report.

The administrative proceedings started on October 31. However, t
he judge of the Leninski District Court of Brest S. Kalinkina returned the case materials for revision. As reported by Alina Litvinchuk, the same evening somebody started insistently ringing on the door of her apartment and then tried to break the door. After this, she heard threats. Somebody told her to open the door on her own, as it was the police and she needed to hurry up. Alina phoned to the police before opening the door, and stated about an attempt of illegal entry into the apartment. Later she opened the door and recognized Dzmitry Sverba, who was dressed in civvies. He explained his attempt to break into her apartment with the “incorrect behavior of his colleague” and said that he needed to come to her apartment to rewrite the violation report which had been returned to the police. However, the journalist refused to sign the new violation report again.