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Parliamentary questions
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13 November 2009
by Konrad Szymański (ECR)
to the Commission

 Subject: Attacks by Belarusian authorities on TV Bielsat
 Answer in writing 

Journalists working with the Bielsat television station maintain that they have been the subject of unfounded summonses to the public prosecutor's office and warnings from the Belarusian authorities. The state-owned media have started to publish reports openly attacking the station. Furthermore, the editor-in-chief of the independent local newspaper ‘Volnaje Hlybokaje’ has been subjected to intimidation by the local authorities, in an attempt to stop the paper from publishing TV Bielsat programme details.

TV Bielsat is the only independent television station in Belarus and the only news service not subject to censorship in the country. For the past two years, the station has been attempting to have its office in Belarus registered, which would enable it, among other things, to secure accreditation for its journalists. It applied for registration once again on 9 October 2009.

The above behaviour by the Belarusian authorities is in clear breach of the principles of freedom of expression and freedom of the press. In this connection, would the Commission state:

1. What action it intends to take in the matter?
2. Whether, in light of the above, the continued suspension of the sanctions against Belarus is justified?
3. What account it intends to take of the matter during the next review of Belarusian policy in connection with the suspension of EU sanctions?

Original language of question: PLOJ C 10 E, 14/01/2011
Právne upozornenie - Politika ochrany súkromia