Defamation, copyright, and a ban on fines to freelancers — BAJ takes part in discussion of the new Code of Administrative Offences
On May 27, the authorities wrapped up the public discussion of the draft Code of Administrative Offences (CAO) and the Procedural and Executive Code of Administrative Offences (PECAO). As part of the discussion, the Belarusian Association of Journalists proposed a number of important amendments to the draft laws that can significantly improve the rights of citizens in the field of mass media.
On June 5, Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya‘s initiative group collected signatures for her nominating a presidential candidate in the town of Zhodzina. A Belsat TV crew started livestreaming the event at 15.30.
On June 4, Alena Dubovik, a freelance journalist who contributes to Belsat, and cameraman Ales Barazenka were detained in the town of Babruysk where they were covering wannabe presidential candidate Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s pre-election picket.
On May 26, Zmitser Lupach, a journalist from the town of Hlybokaye, appeared before Sharkaushchyna district court.
Journalists Alexander Burakou and Ales Asiptsou were released from temporary detention center in Mahiliou. Both journalists served ten days of jail for alleged participation in unauthorized mass events.
Mahiliou police arrested freelance journalist Alexander Burakou Jr.
Human Rights House Foundation: Belarusian authorities must cease attacks on human rights defenders and journalists
Human Rights House Foundation is observing with increasing concern the wave of arrests and disappearances of human rights defenders and journalists across Belarus. Against the backdrop of worrying increases in COVID-19 infections and the August 2020 Presidential elections, the actions by Belarusian authorities to intimidate human rights defenders and limit the spread of information by independent journalists are alarming.
At the moment, 4 journalists are serving arrests under Art. 23.34 Part 1 "Violation of the order of organization or holding mass events."
Today judge Aksana Ratnikava (Leninski district court of Mahiliou) sentenced journalist Mikhail Arshynski to11 days of arrest for violation of Article 23.34 of the Administrative Code (participation in an unauthorized mass event). This way, Mikhail will spend the total of 21 days behind bars - on May 11, he got another 10 days in jail for alleged participation in an unsanctioned meeting.
Journalist Ales Asiptsou goes on hunger strike, gets 10 days of jail. Alexander Burakou to spend 10 days in jail, too
Today judge of the Leninsky district court of Mahiliou Viktoria Paliakova sentenced journalist Alexander Burakou, BAJ member, to 10 days in jail for participation in an unauthorized mass protest on May 6 outside of the detention center in Mahiliou.
10 days in jail and a fine of 45 basic values was the sentence given to journalist Zmitser Lupach by Hlabokaye distric court judge Dzmitry Tarasevich. He was tried on May 11 under to charges of the Administrative Code -- Art. 22.9 Part 2 (illegal production and distribution of media products) and Art. 23.34 Part 1 (Violation of the order of organization or holding mass events).
Immediately after the arrest, the cameraman’s phone became unavailable.