Homieĺ: freelance journalist gets 6th fine this year

2015 2015-06-09T17:24:32+0300 2015-06-09T18:28:00+0300 en http://spring96.org/files/images/sources/zhukouski-2.jpg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Kanstantsin Zhukouski

Kanstantsin Zhukouski

June 9, Tsentralny District Court of Homieĺ considered a report of administrative violation, drawn up against freelance journalist Kanstantsin Zhukouski,and sentenced him to a fine of 30 basic units.

According to the report, April 15 the TV channel "BelSat" broadcast the story "Lecturer's Suicide" which had been "illegally manufactured by citizen Zhukouski". According to police, the freelancer was working for the TV channel "BelSat" without accreditation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It is worth noting that this is the sixth punishment of the journalist for his professional activities. In general, given the amount of the fine today, Kanstantsin Zhukouski already “owes” to the budget 25.2 million rubles, being repeatedly sentenced to fines of 20-30 basic units under Article 22.9 of the Administrative Code.

June 9, the court viewed the report of the TV channel "BelSat" about a lecturer of Homieĺ State University named after Francysk Skaryna, who had committed suicide. The woman was living in a house for lecturers, which was juridically declared a dormitory, which deprived the dwellers of the opportunity to privatize the apartments in which they had lived for 20 or even more years. After the house had been officially declared a dormitory, the leadership of the university used this fact for manipulations and blackmail of lecturers. Some of them were threatened with dismissal and eviction if they decided to defend their rights at court. The lecturer who committed suicide was afraid to lose her job and apartment.

Kanstantsin Zhukouski didn't take the blame. “I am guilty of living here and enjoying the rights guaranteed by the Constitution, including the right to gather and disseminate information," said the freelance journalist.

He added that he had really shot the video about the lecturer's suicide, and a part of this video had been used during the preparation of the report of the TV channel "BelSat". "However, I didn't produce the report or distribute it, though I am accused of it. It can be compared to working in the mines, digging the metal ore. Then other people can make tractors or spaceships from it. Yes, I sent my video to several editorial offices, some of whom used it while others just got rid of it. My photos were used at the website of “SB – Belarus Segodnya” [pro-government state-owned newspaper - ed.], but I am not tried for it. My materials are used by various editions,” summed up the freelance journalist.

He believes that the trials under Article 22.9 of the Administrative Code constitute political persecution, related not only to his journalistic work, but also to active citizenship.