Belarusian journalist sews mouth shut in protest
PR dla Zagranicy
A Belarusian journalist who works for Polish-funded station Belsat TV sewed his mouth shut in protest after being fined by a court in the city of Gomel, south eastern Belarus.
Belarusian journalist Kanstantsin Zhukousky. Photo: Screenshot Youtube
Kanstantsin Zhukousky was fined for what the district court ruled as being the illegal creation of journalistic material.
The ruling marks the seventh time that Zhukousky has been fined for producing material without the correct accreditation.
The report in question concerned the visit of Jean-Yves Bouchardy, a representative of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and it explored problems of Ukrainian refugees in Belarus.
Zhukousky has been ordered to pay over BYR 50 million, about PLN 10,000. Fellow journalist Larysa Shcharakova was handed down the same sentence.
Several members of the independent Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) apparently tried to dissuade Zhukousky from sewing his mouth shut, as another man was recently sent to a psychiatric institution for criticizing President Alexander Lukashenko.
Founded in 2007, Belsat is principally financed by Polish Television (TVP) and the Polish foreign ministry.
However, since its inception Belarusian authorities have declined to provide accreditation for Belsat journalists. Likewise, no permit has been granted to register Belsat's office in Minsk. (nh/pk)