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  • The Belarusian Association of Journalists Requested the Constitutional Court of Belarus to Protect Freelance Journalists

    The Belarusian Association of Journalists and the Belarusian Helsinki Committee have directed a common appeal to the Constitutional Court of Belarus with a request to express opinion concerning the legal uncertainty that causes further judicial persecution of journalists on charges under article 22.9 of Belarus Code on Administrative Offenses.

    Con­crete cas­es are described in the appeal, when courts in Belarus imposed fines on indi­vid­u­als for their coop­er­a­tion with for­eign mass media with­out accred­i­ta­tion, bas­ing upon arti­cle 22.9 of Belarus Code on Admin­is­tra­tive Offens­es.

    It is men­tioned in the appeal that arti­cle 22.9 of Belarus Code on Admin­is­tra­tive Offens­es and par­tic­u­lar­ly part 2 of this arti­cle envis­age legal lia­bil­i­ty for ille­gal pro­duc­tion and dis­tri­b­u­tion of mass media prod­ucts. How­ev­er, accord­ing to the cur­rent law ‘On Mass Media’ the pro­duc­tion of mass media prod­ucts is imple­ment­ed by legal enti­ties only (para­graph 1, arti­cle 1).

    There­fore, the Belaru­sian Asso­ci­a­tion of Jour­nal­ists and the Belaru­sian Helsin­ki Com­mit­tee asked the Con­sti­tu­tion­al Court of Belarus to take a deci­sion on adopt­ing con­crete pro­pos­als on intro­duc­tion of rel­e­vant amend­ments to the exist­ing media leg­is­la­tion in Belarus.

    - All the time, we draw pub­lic atten­tion to the fact that the actions of police and courts on pros­e­cu­tion of jour­nal­ists under arti­cle 22.9 of Belarus Code on Admin­is­tra­tive Offens­es do not go in line with the law ‘On Mass Media’. There­fore, we ask the Con­sti­tu­tion­al Court to point the atten­tion of state author­i­ties to these con­tra­dic­tions in the leg­is­la­tion and pro­pose the com­pe­tent author­i­ties to abol­ish the con­tra­dic­tions, and there­by cease the harass­ment of jour­nal­ists,” not­ed the BAJ media lawyer Aleh Aheyeu.

    The unabridged text of the appeal in Russ­ian can be found under the link.

    Situation with Freedom of Speech in Belarus Reported as Highly Critical in 2017

    Repressions against journalists in Belarus, 2017 (сhart)

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