UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders Michel Forst Advises Journalists to Contact Him Directly
The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation with human rights defenders Michel Forst visited the office of the Belarusian Association of Journalists. He met with BAJ representatives, journalists Pauliuk Bykouski, Tatsiana Karavenkova, Maryna Zolatava, and Dziyana Seradziuk.
Computers and data storage devices have been returned to Belsat two days after they were seized by the police took during the search at the Minsk office of Belsat.
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, denounced the search conducted on 9 April in the editorial office of the Belsat TV channel in Minsk, Belarus. He called on the authorities to exercise restraint in bringing libel charges against media and journalists, and reiterated his call on the authorities to decriminalize defamation.
April 9 Minsk Department of the Investigative Committee searched the apartment used by employees of Belsat satellite TV channel.
In the morning of April 9 the police came to the office of Belsat TV channel with a search warrant from the Investigation Committee. Recently, we do not have information about the criminal proceedings that the search is part of.
Hrodna.life published a joke on April Fools' Day, and local ideologists seemed not to understand the joke.
Joint statement by human rights and other civil society organizations.
Blogger Andrei Pavuk is a suspect in a criminal case under Art. 340 Part 1 of the Criminal. He is suspected of a false report on a bomb in the building of Aktsiabrski district executive committee. The police seized all computer equipment and devices from Andrei.
Brest-based journalists Ales Lyauchuk and Milana Kharytonava were found guilty of illegal production and distribution of media products, i.e. for contributing to Belsat TV.
Zavodski district court of Minsk has announced the verdict to Maryna Zolatava, the chief editor of the portal Tut.by. Zolatava has been found guilty of dereliction of duty, which resulted in significant harm to the state and public interests. Maryna Zolatava must pay a fine of 300 base values (7,650 BYN). Zolatava is restricted from leaving the country before the judgment enters into legal force. In addition, Maryna Zolatava must also pay BelTA 6,000 BYN of sue charges. Hard drives, laptops, a mobile phone, and system unit will be returned to her. The court also ruled to return the equipment seized during the searches to the editors of Tut.by.
The trial of Maryna Zolatava, editor-in-chief of the popular news portal TUT.BY, will start on February, 12 in Minsk.
Olga Vallee, FOJO Media Institute program coordinator arrived in Minsk at the invitation of the Belarusian Association of Journalists. She was supposed to have a meeting with young journalists.