The Belarusian Association of Journalists demands to amend the media-related legislation.
The NGO “Belarusian Association of Journalists” and the Belarusian Helsinki Committee sent a joint appeal to the Constitutional Court of Belarus with a request to speak out about legal uncertainty, as a result of which journalists are prosecuted under Article 22.9 of the Code of Administrative Offenses, the website baj.by informs.
The appeal details the situation when Belarusian courts impose fines under Article 22.9 of the Administrative Code (Violation of the legislation on the media) on individuals for cooperation with foreign media without accreditation.
The appeal notes that Article 22.9 of the Administrative Code, and especially Part 2 of this article, provides for liability for the illegal manufacture and distribution of media products. According to the current law “On Mass Media”, the production of media products is solely the prerogative of a legal entity (Section 20, Article 1).
In this connection, BAJ is asking the Constitutional Court to take a decision, in which to formulate concrete proposals to state bodies of Belarus on introducing appropriate changes in the legislation in the field of mass media.
- We always draw attention to the fact that the activities of the police and courts in the persecution of journalists under Art. 22.9 of the Administrative Code does not comply with the law “On Mass Media”.
Therefore, we ask the Constitutional Court to draw the attention of state bodies to the contradictions in the legislation and invite the competent bodies to eliminate the contradictions and thereby stop the harassment of journalists,” – the BAJ lawyer Aleh Aheyeu says.