This week, the Ministry of Information stated the need for bundling regional newspapers. It is justified by the “difficulty to attract expensive specialists” to the provinces. However, it looks like another stage of degradation of the state print press and an attempt to save funds, most of which are now directed to the TV propaganda apparatus. The Belarusian Association of Journalists investigated the issue.
Having considered the case of “Black Book of Belarus” in separate proceedings, Minsk City Court passed a sentence on the defendants. Among those tried in absentia was Dzmitry Navosha, a former correspondent of the Pressball newspaper and co-founder of Tribuna.com and Sports.ru portals. He and four other defendants were sentenced to 12 years in prison and a fine of $7,300.
On 16 January, the Navabelitski District Court of Homel considered the complaint of the former journalist Larysa Shchyrakova against her detention on remand. Judge Aliaksandr Zinchuk dismissed the case: Shchyrakova shall remain in a pre-trial detention center. The details of the session are unknown, as it was held behind closed doors.
Today, January 16, Hrodna Regional Court will start considering the case of Andrzej Poczobut, a prominent journalist and activist of the Polish minority in Belarus. The journalist has been in custody for 664 days. According to the indictment, he faces 12 years in jail. Judge Dzmitry Bubenchyk, known for convicting other politicals, will hear the case.
Jamie Fly, Radio Liberty president: “We’ll go back to Minsk to reopen our office. It’s just a matter of time”
The new office of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that opened a few days ago in Vilnius will focus on covering developments in Belarus. Jamie Fly, president of the radio station, told BAJ about his team’s mission and why attempts to regulate information are doomed to failure.
On 13 January, the Pershamaiski District Court of Minsk pronounced the final verdict on journalists Sniazhana Inanets and Aliaksandr Lychauka. Both were sentenced to freedom restriction for participation in unsanctioned mass events. They had spent over three months in custody.
On 11 January, Barys Zvozskau Belarusian Human Rights House hosted an awarding ceremony in Vilnius. The event was supposed to happen on December 10, International Human Rights Day, but was postponed due to the death of Belarusian Helsinki Committee chair Aleh Hulak.
Editor-in-chief and executive director accused of 'incitement to hatred'
On 9 January, the TUT.BY case will be heard in the Minsk City Court. Ludmila Chekina, TUT.BY Media CEO, and Maryna Zolatava, TUT.BY editor-in-chief, are in the dock. The trial will be held in camera and considered by Judge Valiantsina Ziankevich.
There are at least 1,452 political prisoners in Belarus today, and this number is growing every day. Whole families often find themselves behind bars. Below, you will find stories of imprisoned journalists whose partners ended up in jail, too.