Govt-in-exile: Closing of Belsat TV would benefit dictatorial regime in Belarus

The Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic (Rada BNR) has issued a statement regarding the situation around Belsat TV, the Belarusian TV channel broadcasting from Poland:

“The Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic is seriously concerned by the possible threat to the existence of the TV channel Belsat.

During its existence, Belsat has become one of the most influential Belarusian publications, a bright and highly important phenomenon on the Belarusian media landscape.

Belsat is the only TV channel in the world broadcasting in Belarusian language. It is a unique platform for opinions independent from the Belarusian government as evidenced through the excellent shows and documentaries produced by Belsat journalists. Under the conditions of a dictatorial regime in Belarus, which discriminates against the Belarusian language and culture, and continues the Soviet chauvinistic policy of Russification and destruction of the Belarusian identity, Belsat plays a crucial role not only as a mass medium but also as a cultural phenomenon.

The creation and support of Belsat have been a key contribution of Poland to the Polish-Belarusian friendship. Thanks to Belsat, Poland has gained in its profile as a progressive energy in the support of Belarusian civil society. 

The closure or reformatting of the channel would be a serious blow to the freedom of press in Belarus and would benefit the dictatorial regime of A. Lukashenka as well as its traditional sponsors, including aggressive Russian nationalistic elites. It would be a blow to the interests of democracy and security in our region.

The Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic asks the authorities of Poland and the European Union to support the further existence of Belsat as an independent Belarusian TV channel in the Belarusian language.”

The Rada of Belarusian Democratic Republic (BNR) is the supreme institution and the sole legitimate representation of the sovereign rights of the Belarusian people, expressed by the Legislative Act of the 25th of March, 1918, which was recorded in the Third Constitutional Charter of the BNR. The BNR Rada performs the functions of a National Legislature and of a Government-in-Exile.