Zaleuski: State makes journalists work illegally

2014 2014-12-17T15:35:03+0300 2014-12-17T15:35:03+0300 en

Independent journalist Ales Zaleuski received a warning from a prosecutor after two fines.

The press service of the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) reports that the warning against violating mass media laws was signed by deputy prosecutor of Minsk Kazimir Kezhun. The warning concerns the journalist's story about the deportation of human rights defender Elena Tonkacheva from Belarus.

According to the information obtained by the prosecutor's office, Ales Zaleuski made a video report for Belsat TV channel that violated the legislation.

The journalist thinks the Belarusian authorities make freelance journalists work illegally.

“Belsat has made many attempts to get the official accreditation in Belarus, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined the applications every year. We would like to work legally and we do our best to achieve it, but it is official Minsk that takes decisions on Belsat's accreditation. The warnings and fines only underline the need to accredit us.”

The journalist was issued a fine of 6 million rubles last week in his second administrative case. The previous case was opened against him in Karelichy in May. He was fined 4.5 million rubles.

The Belarusian Association of Journalists and many international organisations have been calling on the Belarusian authorities to stop using the discriminatory accreditation mechanism.

OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic raised this question during her official visit to Minsk this year.