18 January 2018, Thursday, 14:34

Independent journalists prosecuted in Hrodna region


Freelance journalist Andrei Mialeshka failed to overturn the decision of Hrodna's Kastrychnitski district court.

Journalist Andrei Mialiashka was fined 4.5 million rubles for working for foreign media without accreditation, Radio Svaboda reports.

Maileshka thinks his guilt was not proved at the trial. The police report was not checked, which was admitted even by the police officer who was a witness. Under the report, an article signed by nickname Ihar Mikalayeu was posted on the website of Radio Racyja that works in Poland. Mialeshka earlier used this nickname, and a prosecutor issued him a warning.

Mialeshka insisted at the trial that he didn't know how the article had appeared on the website.

“The judge asked me if I knew the law on the media and advised to read it. But he'd better turn attention to the fact that the Constitution of Belarus has priority over all laws and instructions. Our judges often forget about it. I think other freelance journalists will face prosecution,” the journalist said.

It is the third time in the Hrodna region that a freelance journalist has been tried. Ales Dzianisau, a member of the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), was fined 30 penalty units (4.5 million rubles) in early April for the “production and distribution of media products”, in other words for cooperation with Belsat TV channel.

In May, the court of the Karelichy district fined Ales Zaleuski 30 penalty units for cooperation with Belsat TV.