A picket in support of Belsat TV started at 12.00 in Minsk. The picketers handed over a petition to the Presidential Administration.
Акцыя у падтрымку Белсата ля Адмiнiстрацыi
Opublikowany przez Белсат TV Wtorek, 20 grudnia 2016
The action of solidarity is organized by Belarusian public figures and politicians. Ex-political prisoner Pavel Sevyarynets offered slogans: ‘Turn off Russia TV, turn on Belsat!’, ‘Down with NTV! Belsat to Belarus!’
12:00 “We are going to the head of the Belarusian administration. We want him to stop the Russian propaganda and sanction Belsat TV in Belarus,” Pavel Sevyarynets stated.
12:05 The police began to draw up protocols on protesters.
12:50 Sevyarynets was invited to the reception of the Presidential Administration of Belarus.
12:58 Several protesters and Belsat TV journalist Lyubou Luniova entered the building of the Presidential Administration. The protesters demanded, inter alia, Belsat TV funding by the Belarusian state and its journalists being accredited.
According to Mr Sevyarynets, they left the petition at the reception desk, and Ihar Lamanosau, Deputy Head of the office of handling public appeals, registered it. In accordance with the law, the letter of reply is to be written within 14 days.
Belarusians should hold more actions in support of Belsat TV to draw the attention of society and the international community to the situation the independent TV channel is facing, Pavel Sevyarynets believes.
On December 19, in the office of the independent trade union (REP) opposition politicians, journalists and public figures discussed the measures to save “Belsat”.
“We understand that the reason for the decision to close “Belsat” is linked to the current regime in Belarus. That’s why tomorrow we will hold a street rally with the slogan “Turn off NTV, turn on Belsat.” We are also signing appeals to the people who can change the decision about “Belsat” in our favor. Also, we are preparing an appeal to the Belarusian Union of Poles, for it to defended the channel. We continue an Internet campaign #livebelsat (#белсатжыві), where people write why “Belsat” important to them,” said in an interview with svaboda.org deputy chairman of the Belarusian Association of Journalists Mikhas Yanchuk..
The BAJ website took over the function of coordinating all actions of solidarity with “Belsat”.
On Sunday evening, Witold Wazczykowski, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland, voiced the ministry’s plans of the channel’s transition to a web mode and its journalists’ transfer to TVP Polonia.