Police officer vs Belsat TV contributor: Court fails to find proof of compromising dignity

On May 16, Homel regional court upheld the decision of over the police officer Uladzimir Bukhautsou’s lawsuit against freelance journalist Kastus Zhukouski.

As reported earlier, the head of Loyeu police department Uladzimir Bukhautsou took Zhukouski to court over protection of honor, dignity and business reputation. Buhautsou became offended by Zhukouski posting a video report about the brutal actions of the Loyeu police which had pictures of the policeman; and the publication ‘Policeman suing Belsat TV contributor Kanstantsin Zhukouski’ on belsat.eu. On January 5, Tsentralny district court of Homel named Belsat TV as a co-defendant.

Bukhautsou was seeking the disproving of this information by Zhukouski in the print media and wants to get a compensation for moral damages. The latter is estimated at 2,000 Belarusian rubles (appr. $1,000).

In late March, Tsentralny district court dismissed a case against Belsat TV due to the lack of jurisdiction, because the channel is a foreign legal entity. The judge had no claims against freelance journalist Kastus Zhukouski either.

In June 2016, the Loyeu police forcefully detained Belsat TV contributors Kastus Zhukouski and Alyaksei Atroshchankau when our crew was working on a news story about the state of the economy in Belarusian regions. The filming was interrupted by the policemen’s arrival. In addition, the police officers reportedly broke the channel’s equipment. According to Zhukouski, the policemen simply tortured him at the police station. Interestingly, the locals also reported the police’s violent actions.

In 2016, Zhukouski has been fined 7 times for illegal production and distribution of media products (Article 22.9 of the Administrative Code), but in fact – for contribution to foreign mass media without having accreditation. Protesting against unfair decisions, he even sewed his mouth.


Tags: Zhukouski