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  • The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns a Belarusian court’s sentencing of journalist Larysa Shchyrakova

    The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns a Belarusian court’s sentencing of journalist Larysa Shchyrakova to 3.5 years in prison for allegedly discrediting the country and facilitating extremism.

    “By sen­tenc­ing jour­nal­ist Larysa Shchyrako­va to 3.5 years in prison, Belaru­sian author­i­ties are once again demon­strat­ing their vin­dic­tive­ness towards those who report­ed inde­pen­dent­ly on the nation­wide protests that shook the coun­try in 2020,” said Car­los Mar­tinez de la Ser­na, CPJ’s pro­gram direc­tor.

    “Belaru­sian author­i­ties must drop all charges against Shchyrako­va and release her imme­di­ate­ly along­side all oth­er impris­oned jour­nal­ists.”

    The court also fined her $1,316.

    Only the oper­a­tive part of the judg­ment was announced. Larysa start­ed cry­ing upon see­ing her fam­i­ly and friends in the court­room but soon com­posed her­self.

    The details of the charges against the jour­nal­ist are unknown, but it’s believed she dis­sem­i­nat­ed “untrue” infor­ma­tion about Belarus online. It’s also unclear what her involve­ment in “extrem­ist activ­i­ties” was. Attor­ney Vik­to­ria Famen­ka, who rep­re­sent­ed Shchyrako­va, signed a non-dis­clo­sure oblig­a­tion.

    Read more:

    Court sentences Larysa Shchyrakova to 3.5 years in prison

    Nasha Niva chief editor released from prison

    Kanstantsin Zalatykh, Belorusy i Rynok director, transferred to Navapolatsk correctional facility

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