Updated at 11:30,08-12-2016

Supreme Court Dismisses Belarusian Association of Journalists Suit against Warning

A judge of the Supreme Court of Belarus on March 22 dismissed a suit filed by the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) against the justice ministrys warning.

Judge Anatol Tserakh said that the warning, issued this past January over the Associations certificate cover and Center of Media Legal Protection, was fully grounded.

The hearing began on March 17.

BAJ deputy head Andrey Bastunets told BelaPAN last Friday that the Courts ruling would immediately take effect. "The procedure conflicts with the constitution," he said. "We will yet consider whether we will try to appeal a judgment, if it is not in our favor".

The ministrys warning says that the BAJ certificate cover carries "illegally" the word "Press," and members of the Association use the certificate to introduce themselves as journalists "without any grounds."

It questions the establishment of the BAJs Center of Media Legal Protection, saying that its operation is not provided for in the Associations charter. "Moreover, the goals of this structure that are outlined in its regulation are beyond the scope of the BAJs charter goals," it reads.