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Belsat offices in Minsk raided and searched by police

31.03.2017, 14:49

The police have come to the Belsat TV office near the Academy of Sciences metro station in Minsk. They have a warrant from the prosecutor’s office. Belsat reports.

A formal reason for the searches has become known. The Minsk police says that the law enforcers is investigating into the ‘illegal use of the trade mark’

Police officers’ activities resulted in establishing a scope of persons illegally using the trade mark, they say. According to them, audio and video equipment was seized to perform necessary procedural actions.

Aleksy Dzikawicki, Head of Information Programming department,  believes the searches have to do with the active online and website coverage of the protests against the Decree #3 and the crack down on the Freedom Day marches.

“It angered the authorities, because we still have this lever and opportunity to show “TV picture” not just cover the events online. Now authorities are trying to restrict information about the protests. We saw the first symptoms of this in the first half of March, when they began to detain our journalists. “Belsat” is ready for such actions. Our channel will broadcast news go no matter what,” said Dzikawicki.

“Now we see that selective measures are being taken against Belsat TV. I think them to be sort of retaliation for Belsat TV,” Barys Haretski, press secretary of the Belarusian Association of Journalists.

Belsat TV journalist Alyaksandr Lyubyanchuk has been detained. He is being driven to Pershamayski district dolice department in Minsk.

In September 2014, the Supreme Court of Belarus retried the case BelsatPlus vs Belsat TV. Although plaintiff Andrey Belyakou failed to show any new evidence, the verdict passed is against. The judges forbade Belsat TV to use its name and trade mark.

Andrey Belyakou, the owner of company BELSATplus, accused television Belsat TV of illegal using its trade mark and wanted the court to ban from use the name. It is hardly possible to put the prohibition on using Belsat TV logo into practice in the territory of Belarus because it is registered in Poland and the EU. According to the channel’s director Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy, the lawsuit against Belsat TV is politically motivated, and today’s verdict to ban the TV station from using the trade mark is another proof of the government’s keeping control over the case.

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