Closure of Belsat would benefit the dictatorial regime in Belarus – statement by BNR Rada

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

Statement by the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic concerning the situation around the TV channel Belsat

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.


December 19, 2016