Journalist in Mahilioŭ keeps fighting for right to attend sessions of Regional Council

2015 2015-06-25T14:00:23+0300 2015-06-25T14:00:23+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Uladzimir Laptsevich

Uladzimir Laptsevich

Legal acts do not provide for special application forms for journalists to attend the sessions of the Mahilioŭ Regional Council, says a reply from its Chairman Anatol Isachenka to local journalist Uladzimir Laptsevich, a correspondent for the news agency BelaPAN. At the same time, the journalist’s request was rejected.

In his letter, Uladzimir Laptsevich asked the Chairman of the Mahilioŭ Regional Council to explain what legal acts regulate applying for a right to attend the public meetings of the Regional Council. Laptsevich also asked to specify the cases in which this request can receive either positive or negative response, how quick the request can be considered and how journalists can be informed on the result of consideration.

In addition, the journalist asked to provide samples of similar requests from other journalists.

The Regional Council of Deputies has developed and operates the practice of working with the media, which among other things provides for prior approval of the quantitative and personal composition of invitee.

Surprisingly, the Chairman of the Mahilioŭ Regional Council does not understand that representative bodies must operate according to the Belarusian legislation, but not some incomprehensible “practice”.

Moreover, the regulations of the Regional Council do not mention either permission or prohibition to attend its sessions by representatives of the media. However, the regulations entitle media representatives to attend public meetings and do not provide for any special applications.

For over a year, Uladzimir Laptsevich, a journalist of the BelaPAN news agency, has been unable to attend the open meetings of the Mahilioŭ Regional Council of Deputies, facing bans referring to the Council’s inner regulations, which allegedly require an invitation.