Belsat journalists to lose car and property if they don’t pay fines

Yana Vaysyuk taking stick of the money in the wallets of Belsat TV journalists Photo- Volha Czajczyc/Belsat.

Volha Czajczyc and Andrei Kozel will lose their property if they do not pay fines for professional activities within two weeks. Court officers have threatened our colleagues with social welfare agencies.

On July 13, Yana Vasyuk, the court officer of the Department of Forced Execution of the Dzyarzhynsk District, came to the journalists of Belsat Volha Czajczyc and Andrei Kozel.

Journalists sign paper saying they would not sell or break their car. Photo – VOlha Czaiczyc/ Belsat

“They took stock of our phone, and they took all the money from our wallets. They also took inventory of the car and took a note that we would not sell it and do not break it. Now we are criminally responsible for the safety of our things. The house in which we are registered belongs to Andrei’s mother — that’s why Yana Vasyuk said that she needs to contact the social services: how do children live in a situation when we do not have property?” said Volha Czajczyc.

Just this year the Belarusian courts imposed a total of 12 fines on Volha and Andrei (our colleagues have to pay almost 9,000 BYN to the state). The reason for the persecution of journalists is professional activity. All cases were initiated under Article 22.9 of the Code of Administrative Offenses — “production or distribution of media materials”.

“If we do not pay the fine within two weeks, this property will be taken away. They also said that they would think about what to take away from us to cover the fines,” Volha added.

Volha and Andrei have not paid a single fine in 2018.

Last year, journalists of Belsat paid fines for over $ 25,000. Probably the current amount of fines will become even greater: only for the first 6 months of this year the judges imposed more than $ 46,253 on journalists of our TV channel.