The Prosecutor General’s Office reported that it had completed the investigation of the case of TUT.BY journalist Katerina Borisevich and anesthesiologist-resuscitator of the Emergency Hospital Artyom Sorokin and sent it to the Minsk City Court to determine jurisdiction.
The questions of the journalist who collected information about the condition of Roman Bondarenko, the Prosecutor General’s Office, judging by the official statement, qualified as follows: “Katerina Borisevich from 12 to 13 November 2020 in violation of the procedure for receiving, providing and disseminating information constituting a medical secret, without the patient’s consent or other authorized persons, in the course of repeated connections via telecommunication networks with Sorokin, through requests and persuasions, persuaded him to provide oral information about the patient of the hospital Roman Bondarenko, who underwent treatment and died in the specified institution on November 12, 2020, as well as to submit photocopies of Bondarenko’s medical documents via a Telegram messenger.”
At the same time, according to the prosecutor’s office, the journalist “was aware that the requested information in accordance with Art. 46 of the Law of the Republic of Belarus “On Health Care” constituted a medical secret, and she was not a person entitled to receive and distribute it.” Such a conclusion was made on the basis of the information of the Prosecutor General’s Office, due to the fact that some medical workers refused to “provide information of interest to her.”
“Succumbing to persuasion, Sorokin deliberately unlawfully disclosed information about the fact that Bondarenko was admitted to the hospital and his state of health, a disease, diagnosis, the results of a medical examination and other data, including personal data. Borisevich used the information and electronic photographs of documents provided by Sorokin to prepare a material, which under the heading ‘Emergency Hospital Doctor: “Roman Bondarenko Had 0 ‰ Of Alcohol, We Found Nothing’ was published on November 13, 2020, on the TUT BY internet-portal,” said the prosecutor’s office.
The official statement reads that “the dissemination of information, including false information, to an unlimited number of persons and its opposition to the official comments of state bodies caused a public outcry and created an atmosphere of distrust towards the competent bodies. This negatively affected the state of law and order and entailed grave consequences – it led to an increase in tension in society, prompted citizens to hold illegal mass events, and other illegal acts.”
At the same time, it is not clear from the message exactly what information the Prosecutor General’s Office considers false and why it was concluded that it was the article that caused a public outcry, and not the death of Roman Bondarenko. By the way, a criminal case has not yet been opened into his death. Roman’s family have no claims against journalist Katerina Borisevich or doctor Artem Sorokin.
The international human rights organization Amnesty International recognized Katerina Borisevich and Artem Sorokin as prisoners of conscience.