Homieĺ journalists challenge Buda-Kašaliova fines
June 12, freelance journalists from Homieĺ Natallia Kryvasheyeva and Kanstantsin Zhukouski filed an appeal to Homieĺ Regional Court, challenging the verdicts of Buda-Kašaliova District Court by which they had been sentenced to large fines for cooperation with the Polish satellite TV channel “Belsat”.
June 5, Judge of Buda-Kašaliova District Court (Homieĺ region) Uladzimir Prakapenka found both journalists guilty under Art. 22.9 of the Administrative Code, "illegal manufacture and distribution of media products", and fined them 3.6 million rubles each (20 basic units).
"Having no accreditations as journalists for a foreign media,they illegally produced an informational material titled “Wasteland instead of a house - Zabaloccie villagers are left homeless", which was later shown by the Polish TV channel "Belsat",” reads the verdict.
Homieĺ human rights activist Leanid Sudalenka, who helps the journalists to appeal the fines, says that in the both cases the judge is guilty of violating Articles 23 and 34 of the Constitution and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
"The enjoyment of the right to freedom to receive and disseminate information may be subject to certain restrictions, but they must not only be prescribed by law, but be necessary in the interests of national security, public order, protection of morality, health, rights and freedoms of others. By limiting the rights of journalists, the court was unable to prove that the restriction of the activities of the journalists were necessary for the achievement of any of the aforementioned goals,” emphasized the lawyer.