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  • Two Journalists Fined in Hrodna

    On August 19, journalists Ales Kirkevich and Ales Dzianisau were found guilty of violating art. 22.9 of the Administrative Code and fined 25 basic amounts each (4.5 million rubles).

    Ales Dzian­isau in court

    The cas­es ground­ed on video reports about a Lithuan­ian pup­pet exhi­bi­tion in Hrod­na, pub­lished on Bel­sat web­site. The cas­es start­ed yet in July, but the case mate­ri­als were sent back to the police for com­ple­tion. The hear­ing resumed on August 14, with­out the jour­nal­ists’ par­tic­i­pa­tion. The wit­ness­es were sum­moned to court to tes­ti­fy, the artist Ali­ak­san­dr Sil­vanovich and his wife, direc­tor of the exhi­bi­tion hall Iry­na Sil­vanovich.

    “The most com­pli­cat­ed thing for me in this sit­u­a­tion is that the author­i­ties shut off the air. At present, I can­not report in the his­to­ry muse­um, in the muse­um of reli­gions, I can­not report in the pup­pet the­ater, and now in the exhi­bi­tion hall in Azhesh­ka street,” says Ales Dzian­isau.


    Uladimir Hilmanovich and Ales Dzian­isau

    Uladz­imir Hilmanovich, human rights defend­er in Hrod­na, also com­ment­ed on the court deci­sion:

    “It looks that the head of state did not solve the issue of free­lancers, or these were just emp­ty words thrown at the press con­fer­ence (the ques­tion about the fines imposed on free­lancers was addressed to Ali­ak­san­dr Lukashen­ka at a press con­fer­ence giv­en to inde­pen­dent mass media on August 4). Legal­ly the sit­u­a­tion is absurd. It is enough to read in the Admin­is­tra­tive Code that the arti­cle applied against jour­nal­ists refers to legal enti­ties only, and does not envis­age lia­bil­i­ty for phys­i­cal per­sons.”

    The total sum of the fines under art. 22.9 (ille­gal pro­duc­tion and dis­tri­b­u­tion of mass media prod­ucts) amount­ed to over 146 mil­lion rubles in 2015.

    Fines to Jour­nal­ists for Vio­lat­ing Arti­cle 22.9 of the Admin­is­tra­tive Code (Chart)

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