The independent journalists were making a report about the conference of the Kurapaty defenders.
Volha Chaichyts said that today in Kurapaty, activists organized a press-conference to discuss the dismantling by the local forestry staff of the cross, installed on December 27. Belsat journalists came to make a story. Throughout the entire conference, its participants were filmed by police officers in civilian clothes. After the event, the journalist and the cameraman of Belsat got into the car, but they could not go far: the traffic police stopped their car.
As the inspectors explained, they stopped the car to check the documents. Later, police officers approached Chaichyts and asked to come with them to the Barauliany district police department.
- This is connected with Article 22.9 of the Code of Administrative Offenses (Violation of legislation on the media - edit.), - explained the policeman.
“I haven’t made any media product today yet, I haven’t violated the law, I will not go with you,” Volha Chaichyts said.
“If you haven’t made anything, we’ll figure it out,” the police officers promised.
This is not the first time that Volha Chaichyts is detained for working for a TV channel which is not accredited in Belarus. As the journalist herself has calculated, last year she was fined 14 times for “making video production for the satellite channel Belsat”. Together with her husband Andrei Kozel, who is a cameraman at Belsat TV, they were found in the amount of more than 20 thousand rubles within a year.
According to the Belarusian Association of Journalists, in 2018 journalists were tried more than a hundred times under Part 2 of Article 22.9 of the Code of Administrative Offenses (Illegal production of media products) in Belarus. The amounts of the fines are different: from 20 to 50 base fgees, which makes BYN 490-1225. The total amount of fines exceeded BYN 92 K.