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Mahilou TV Crew Bursts into Private House

2006 2006-11-23T10:00:00+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

In the evening of November 16 several Mahilou residents had an informal meeting with 2 Czech citizens. The Czechs were invited to Belarus for discussion of possible cooperation between the Belarusian and Czech environmental initiatives. Belarusian hosts invited the guests to visit them at a private house. In 30 minutes the crew of Mahilou regional TV burst into the house and began filming without permission.

Uladzimir Krauchanka, the house owner told BAJ: “The door was not locked. All of a sudden we saw strangers entering the house – a woman with a microphone which had a Mahilou TV label, and a man with a TV camera with a similar label. Without asking for permission, they immediately began to film the room and the people sitting at the table. At the same time the unwanted guest put her mike right in the people’s face and cunningly asked the people why they were there and who the foreign guests were”.

Uladzimir Krauchanka (director of Mahilou Human Rights Center) insisted that the strangers show their IDs. The woman showed her certificate of a reporter of Mahilou regional TV studio Iryna Bardzilouskaya. It was quite difficult to have the strangers leave the house.

Uladzimir Krauchanka complained about the incident to Mahilou regional prosecutor’s office.

According to Article 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, no one has the right to enter the dwelling of a citizen against his will without legal reasons. According to Article 28 of the Constitution, personal and family life of citizens is a kind of information the access to which is limited. The Law on Press also contains norms which are aimed at protection of such information. Article 40 of the Law obliges journalists to receive permission for spreading information about personal life of a citizen.

Article 179 of the Criminal Code establishes responsibility for illegal gathering and spreading of information about private life, which is a personal or family secret of a person, without his or her permission.

Inviolability of private life is also protected by Article 151 of the Civic Code.

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