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  • BAJ piece on dismissed state TV employees deemed “extremist”

    The national list of “extremist materials” was updated by an article published by BAJ in March 2023. It is a story of how the state media management handles “disloyal” employees.

    Accord­ing to an updat­ed entry on the web­site of the Min­istry of Infor­ma­tion, the news sto­ry “From Elite to Out­casts: Anoth­er Win­ner of ‘Telever­shi­na’ Con­test Fired from BelTV” has been declared “extrem­ist” by the deci­sion of the Tsen­tral­ny Dis­trict Court of Min­sk on June 19.

    Accord­ing to the BAJ report pub­lished on March 15, secu­ri­ty offi­cers entered the Bel­tel­era­dio­com­pa­ny broad­cast­ing stu­dio and hand­cuffed Andrei Pinchuk, a respect­ed direc­tor. After the “pre­ven­tive con­ver­sa­tion,” he was fired. The most prob­a­ble rea­son was the state­ments of the TV chan­nel work­er which did not ide­o­log­i­cal­ly fit the offi­cial pol­i­cy.

    Andrei Pinchuk is one of the most expe­ri­enced TV pro­fes­sion­als in his field. Among oth­ers, he is the win­ner of the pro­fes­sion­al award “Telever­shi­na-2012” in the nom­i­na­tion “The best direc­tor of sports TV shows”.

    The arrest of the for­mer head of the Belarus 2 TV chan­nel Vol­ha Hlad­kaya was also men­tioned – in ear­ly May she was sen­tenced to three years of home con­fine­ment. In the office, she kept ser­vice records and mon­i­tored the exe­cu­tion of con­tracts. The woman resigned from Bel­tel­era­dio­com­pa­ny in Sep­tem­ber 2020, which coin­cid­ed with mass protests against the stolen pres­i­den­tial elec­tion and unlaw­ful use of vio­lence by the police. As a result, Hlad­kaya was charged with par­tic­i­pa­tion in an unau­tho­rized assem­bly.

    Human rights activists also received a video fea­tur­ing plain-clothed police detain­ing the for­mer cor­re­spon­dent of the CTV, Dzmit­ry Bayarovich, and his wife Vale­ria.

    Dzmit­ry Bayarovich was an elite CTV mem­ber and worked in the appa­ra­tus. He orga­nized polls of the par­tic­i­pants of the so-called All-Belaru­sian People’s Assem­bly, accom­pa­nied inspec­tors dur­ing legal enti­ty checks, and took com­ments from pro-regime experts on “Russia’s peace­ful pol­i­cy” and “encroach­ment on the free­dom of speech in Ukraine”.

    How­ev­er, Dzmit­ry Bayarovich unex­pect­ed­ly resigned and was ques­tioned by “law enforce­ment”.

    A num­ber of for­mer employ­ees of state tele­vi­sion chan­nels have already been sen­tenced to long prison terms.

    For exam­ple, jour­nal­ist Kse­nia Lut­ski­na (two “Telever­shi­na” awards hold­er) was sen­tenced to 8 years in prison for “con­spir­a­cy to take over state pow­er”. Dzmit­ry Luk­sha, a for­mer anchor of the BelTV news­reel, was sen­tenced to 4 years in prison for “dis­cred­it­ing the state”. The for­mer head of the “pres­i­den­tial pool” Dzmit­ry Sem­chanka (award­ed “Telever­shi­na” in the same year as Andrei Pinchuk) was sen­tenced to 3 years in prison for incit­ing social enmi­ty.

    Read more:

    “We stand in full solidarity with our brave colleagues!” The IFJ keeps torch of solidarity with journalist prisoners burning

    Businessman and publisher of Baranavichy newspaper Shag evacuated from Belarus

    “If one of us is imprisoned, the other one takes the child and leaves the country.” The key from the report of human rights activists on the psychological state of political emigrants

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