Society members: Vice-chairman of the Belarusian Association of Journalists Andrew Bastunets and editor of the online newspaper "Solidarity" Alexander Starykevich.
Company harassment of media
Valery Karbalevich"In a few days we will celebrate one after the other cases of harassment of journalists. With respect to the Grodno journalist Andrei Poczobut prosecuted. They put me on the day of Mogilev journalist Ales Asiptsova and Vladimir Laptsevich. The Supreme Economic Court upheld the Ministry of warning to the newspaper "Narodnaya Volya" January 14 and seems to support the closure of the "Autoradio". Experienced harassment and media representatives. Russian journalist Alexander Lashmankin judged by the administrative case and denied accreditation. Gomel oblast border guards detained for nine hours two German journalists. Is a campaign against the independent media? . "
Andrew Bastunets"All this is hardly a new company. This is a continuation of what began on December 19. The authorities do not really pay any attention to the law, no freedom of speech or the international obligations of Belarus.
I think the recent cases of harassment of journalists are directly related to the Day of Freedom. A number of journalists have been blocked, so they were not able to cover the events of that day, the other prevented to perform professional duties. We can assume that during such events will also increase the pressure on journalists. "
Alexander Starykevich"The company does not stop the prosecution of journalists is the 17th year. Stsishvaetstsa It is then amplified. But in fact it is a systematic process. Recent events can be called a new wave of persecution. But this trend of recent months, when the government threw all the talk of political liberalization . authorities have started to push everyone: both the opposition and civil society organizations, and the media, which either do not interfere with most authorities to live in peace. "
What are the objectives of repression against journalists?
Karbalevich"Thus, it appears after the" cleansing "of the opposition, human rights activists, lawyers now the turn to journalists? What purpose does this company?"
Bastunets"The authorities used to look at the media as an ideological weapon. And therefore want to disarm their opponents. The fact that journalists are not engaged in an ideological war, and perform very different professional responsibilities remain without attention of the authorities.
Freedom — is not only one of the fundamental human rights, but also the storage criterion other rights. And if other social and political rights violated in the country, this trend could not avoid and the freedom of expression. "
Starykevich"First of all, it is the process for the sake of the process. After all, if there is a lot of the secret police, they have to somehow justify their existence. For a time they held back. Now, on the contrary, given the command "Fetch." So we have the result.
I think that hide from the public event on March 25th — it's fine goal. There is a systematic war against the independent media as the institution. To the independent media were not so terrible for the government, then they have no one would have paid any attention. If the independent media have full freedom, the country would be a different political situation. Therefore, they need to stay in the ghetto, do not give them a wider audience. "
What is the point to deal with the media in the Internet?
Karbalevich"Either these are achievable goals? Especially in the context of a larger Internet? Or do not fight it with windmills? "
Bastunets"I must say that part of the goals set by the authorities, achieved. There are no independent electronic media. The independent press squeezed into a reservation, it is difficult to reach readers. And it is difficult to get information.
But the existence of the Internet offers the chance that the information will reach those who are interested in it. Therefore, in recent time, the authorities are trying to seize control of the Internet space. "
Starykevich"Stop the spread of the Internet is impossible. As the final, which is bound to befall the current regime. But the authorities are trying to gain time. And from this point of view, their actions are rational. But the rationality — of the devil. "
Karbalevich"Why touch the foreign journalists: Russian, German?"
Bastunets"These journalists are different stories. German journalists violated the border zone, and therefore came under persecution. But with respect to the Russian journalist carried out deliberate actions of special services. And surprisingly, the arrest of a Russian journalist Alexander Lashmankin occurred at a time when the Belarusian government delegation held talks in Moscow on a loan.
In general, authorities persecute anyone who has a different point of view on events in Belarus. It also aims not to give that information about events in the country went abroad. But the response from the facts themselves harassment of foreign journalists expressed more than from the information that they could pass. "
Starykevich"And that the authorities look out for? Is harassment of foreign journalists in Belarus had some big implications for the regime? The practical meaning of this tactic relatively minor damage Lashmankin that now some Russian journalists will think whether to go to Belarus. "
Karbalevich"What can you oppose this public skating rink?"
Bastunets"You can only oppose his professional work as a journalist. This is the best response to this pressure. "
Starykevich"In our situation, no prescription quick fix. We must drop by drop, to do their job. "