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Brest Court Manages To Fine Journalist Only At Third Attempt

Brest Court Manages To Fine Journalist Only At Third Attempt

Yauhen Skrabets was tried for taking an interview.

On April 11, the Leninski district court of Brest considered another administrative case against journalist Yauhen Skrabets under Article 22.9 of the Code of Administrative Offenses (for working for a foreign media without accreditation). The administrative protocol states “interviewed without accreditation, thus violating the rights and obligations of a foreign media journalist,” writes the human rights center “Viasna”.

The court sent the case of Skrabets back for revision twice. The term for consideration of the case ends in 9 days.

The judge in the case is Aliaksandr Semianchuk. This is the same judge who is handling the criminal case of the Brest blogger Siarhei Piatrukhin, who is accused under Part 2 of Article 188 (“Slander”) and Part 2 of Article 189 (“Insult”) of the Criminal Code.

“I was in a museum. I took a picture of the king of the exhibit. I took a comment from an archaeologist and teacher Aliaksandr Bashkou about the exhibited original. Later I made an announcement and posted it with a picture in the internet. I don’t know how the article appeared on Radio Racyja. I didn’t publish it on the website and didn’t provide it. I don’t even have the authority to do so. I didn’t introduce myself as a correspondent to the museum’s director, ” Yauhen said at the trial.

Archeologist and teacher Aliaksandr Bashkou and director of the Brest Museum of Regional Studies Aliaksei Mitsiukou testified in court as witnesses.

As a result, judge Aliaksandr Semianchuk fined the journalist for 30 base fees (BYN 765).

In addition, on Friday, April 13, the journalist is expecting another trial under the same Article 22.9 of the Code of Administrative Offenses. It concerns the material that appeared on the website of the Belarusian Radio Racyja on February 20 under the title “Activists and independent journalists not admitted to a press-conference in Brest.” The protocol on this case was sent back for revision once.

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