Saturday, March 9, 2024

After Sikorski's decision, the budget of Bielsat TV Channel was cut in half, and journalists face deportation and imprisonment

Belsat is a Polish free-to-air terrestrial and satellite television channel aimed at Belarus. The channel is a subsidiary of TVP S.A. From the outset, it has been co-funded by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and international donors.

"This medium is generally directed towards the East. Such a conglomeration of Belarusian- and Russian-speaking elements was created, among other things, because we treat the region as a whole. (...)  Therefore, we cover certain Ukrainian issues. (...) At the same time, we have an offer for Russians interested in defeating Putin's regime. It is very important that these media are created by Belarusian, Russian, and Ukrainian journalists for these audiences," said Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy in a comment for the Belsat(.)eu portal.

At the beginning of February, Belsat employees asked Radosław Sikorski in an open letter for "real support in further implementation of this very difficult mission":

- Mr. Minister, we are not only worried about our existence - although, with the turmoil affecting Belsat TV, we may not only lose our jobs and livelihoods - but also, dozens of us, Belarusians and Russians, to stay in Poland, which depends on having employment. People cooperating with Belsat are "extremists" in Belarus and "foreign agents" in Russia and will be punished under the new law for discrediting the Russian military. Many of us have nowhere to return to. We are threatened with repression and imprisonment. This threatens our families who remained in Belarus and Russia (unfortunately, such cases are already known).

As far as we know, Minister Sikorski has not commented on the issue. 

- Based on reporting by Niezalezna(.)pl