IREX Opinion about Film of Belarusian TV

2003 2003-07-04T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

On 30 June the Belarusian representation of Institute for Research and Exchange (IREX) held a press conference during which the information, distributed by Belarusian TV in the anonyumous pseudo-documental film “Pautina” (“Cobweb”) was disproved. The IREX officials said that they weren’t going to cease their activity in Belarus and hoped to go through re-registration in August.

The press releaze, distributed by the Belarusian IREX representation, said that “Pautina” film contained information that was not true, insulted honor and dignity and generally comprometed the organization activity.

Belarusian bureau of IREX emphasized that its activity completely met the stated aims and the organization status and was by no means directed at subversion of the national security of the Republic of Belarus, as presented in the film.

The bureau authorities also pointed out that none of the anonymous film authors applied to the responsible officials for commentaries or explanations. It doesn’t only contradict to the common principles of journalism, but also a violation of Article No. 40 of the Law “About press and other mass media” that obliges journalists to check all obtained information. “Our organization’s activity is open and transparent”, -- stated Robert Ortega, Head of Belarusian IREX Bureau.

He also said he can’t judge who could inspire the film, answering with a question: “Who will profit if our organization stops existing and working for objective information of Belarusian citizens?..”

According to R. Ortega, on 7 August the IREX registration term at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus ends. He hopes that the Ministry will prolong registration to his organization as it strictly abided by the limits of the Statute and the Belarusian legislation. In the case of a negative answer, IREX will take appropriate steps to complain against this decision.

At the end of the meeting R. Ortega invited the anonymous film authors to participate in the professional IREX trainings where they would be taught standards of journalism.

Based on BAJ information

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