Reporter banned from courtroom because of his videocamera. His colleagues submit a complaint

14.01.2020 Source: BAJ News Service Story: Access to Information

On January 9, Frunzenski distrcit court of Minsk on January 9 did not allow journalist Dzmitry Buyanau to be present during the hearing. Hanna Zhurauskaya, Assistant Court Chairman, told the guards not to let him in, as he was carrying a video camera.

The incident was observed by other reporters covering the open trials against anti-integration protesters in Minsk.

Hanna Zhurauskaya was waiting for the journalists at the entrance to the building.  She said she knew Dzmitry Buyanau as Belsat's cameraman and told the guards not to let him in the building.

Buyanau's colleagues left a written complaint.

The journalists believe that the Assistant Court Chairman went beyond her authority and gave an illegal instruction to the police guard.

This is not the first incident of the kind. The Belarusian Association of Journalists had addressed the Minsk City Court Chairman with a written request to change the order of bringing recording equipment to courts, so that it would not depend on permission of the court's press service.

BAJ proposed to establish that journalists were entitled to enter the court building with professional equipment upon presentation of an identity document or a certificate of employment.