A person who disseminates truthful information in Belarus is more than just a journalist.
On May 14, 2018, a trial of journalist and TV presenter Pavel Mazheika, who works in with the television channel Belsat, takes place in Hrodna. Pavel Mazheika has already received a copy of the protocol, where it is written that he was streaming from the allowed Hrodna rally on March 25 this year, baj.by reports.
The police accuse the journalist of having interviewed Vadzim Saranchukou without an accreditation of a foreign media journalist on the air of the Polish TV channel Belsat in the Kalozhski Park of Hrodna during the mass event dedicated to the BPR's 100th anniversary on March 25. This material Pavel posted on the Belsat website for further distribution, thus violating the requirements of the norms of Art. 22.9 of the Administrative Code of the Republic of Belarus.
Pavel Mazheika does not agree with this protocol:
– The essence of the claim is not clear to me. I believe that all these actions, protocols, trials are sort of a demonstration. Like, "dear independent journalists, Hrodna residents, activists of various organizations! If the authorities have allowed this event, it is only because the authorities wanted so. And they allowed it only in the form in which it was beneficial for the authorities. And you must not forget that the club is always near, and we will use this club against common citizens and residents of this city." Obviously, the verdict will be a guilty one.
– Isn’t this protocol a continuation of repressions against journalists cooperating with the television channel Belsat?
– All the people who work in Belarus with information, disseminate independent information, the view alternative to the state one, are now under the threat of absolutely unreasonable persecution, repressions, sometimes of brutal ones. And absolutely everyone must be prepared psychologically for such actions of the authorities. I do not see any logic, so I’m ready for any result. It will depend on the internal power squabbles, but in no way will it mean that the government has suddenly wised up and realized that independent citizens should not be judged.
The trial of journalist Pavel Mazheika will start in the Leninski district court of Hrodna at 14.00 on May 14.