6 May 2020 23:18

Russia's Channel One news crew stripped of Belarusian accreditation over Covid-19 report

MINSK. May 6 (Interfax) - The Belarusian Foreign Ministry has revoked the accreditation of a news crew of the Russian television Channel One after its report on the Covid-19 situation in the country.

"The Foreign Ministry commission for the accreditation of foreign journalists made the relevant decision on May 6," the ministry's spokesperson Anatoly Glaz told Interfax.

The decision applies to "two employees of the news bureau," he said.

The ministry did not name the reason for which it revoked the accreditations from the Russian journalists.

Meanwhile, the Belarusian TV channel Belarus-1 said the Channel One film crew was stripped of their accreditation over a video report on the coronavirus epidemic situation in Belarus, which, as it put it, contained "fake information."

"The Belarusian Foreign Ministry today lawfully deprived a Channel One film crew of its accreditation, warning that tougher measures were also possible," the Belarusian TV channel said.

Russia's Channel One said it sees the Belarusian government's decision to revoke the accreditation from the TV channel's film crew as unwarranted.

"We can confirm the expulsion of our correspondent and the revocation of accreditations from the entire film crew. We view these steps by the Belarusian authorities as absolutely groundless," Channel One's press service told Interfax.

Earlier on Wednesday, Channel One showed a report from the Belarusian village of Stolbtsy, claiming that "the coronavirus situation in Belarus has worsened dramatically." The report also said that "local residents do not trust official statistics." To illustrate their point, the journalists showed a panoramic view of the local cemetery.