Harsh sentences for Maryna Zolatava and Ludmila Chekina avenge the truth TUT.BY delivered to millions
Minsk City Court considered in camera the criminal case against the editor-in-chief of the largest Belarusian media outlet TUT.BY, Maryna Zolatava, and TUT.BY CEO Ludmila Chekina. Judge Valiantsina Ziankevich found the TUT.BY workers guilty and imposed huge sentences: Maryna Zolatava received 12 years of imprisonment, Ludmila Chekina – 12 years of imprisonment.
According to BAJ sources, on 15 March, law enforcers searched the editorial office of Slutsk independent publication Infa-Kurier. A search was also conducted in the house of Aliaksandr Mantsevich, editor-in-chief of Rehiyanalnaya Hazeta.
JOINT STATEMENT - THE OBSERVATORY / HELSINKI FOUNDATION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
On February 28, the Belarusian State Security Committee recognized the Belarusian Association of Journalists as an extremist formation. BAJ was the first Belarusian human rights organization to be “awarded” such a status. The international community is outraged by such a decision by the Belarusian authorities.
Journalists and human rights defenders are not extremists. BAJ considers it absurd that the organization was recognized as "extremist". STATEMENT
On March 7, it became known that the State Security Committee of Belarus recognized the Belarusian Association of Journalists as an extremist formation. BAJ became the first Belarusian human rights organization that ”received" such a status.
MINSK -- The prosecutor at the trial of two activists in Belarus -- Valeryya Kastsyuhova and Tatsyana Kuzina -- has asked a court in Minsk to convict the two women and sentence them to 10 years in prison each as part of an ongoing crackdown on dissent under authoritarian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
Judge Maryna Zapasnik of the Lieninski District Court of Minsk decided that the guilt of human rights defenders of “smuggling by an organized group” under Part 4 Article 228 of the Criminal Code and “financing of group actions grossly violating the public order” under Part 2 of Article 342 of the Criminal Code has been fully proven.
Iryna Slaunikava, convicted to 5 years imprisonment for allegedly “creating an extremist formation”, reported vision changes that she attributed to bad lighting in the pre-trial detention center where she had been kept. The workload in the sewing shop of the Homel women’s penitentiary only aggravates the situation. Aliaksandr Loika, Iryna’s husband said that convicted women work as virtually free seamstresses in prison. They have almost no free time because of work.
Journalist Andrzej Poczobut was previously sentenced to 8 years of imprisonment.
Paris-Geneva, March 2, 2023 – Tomorrow, the Leninsky District Court in Minsk is expected to hand down its verdict in the case of Viasna leaders Ales Bialiatski, Valiantsin Stefanovic and Uladzimir Labkovich. On the eve of the verdict, the signatory organisations reiterate their calls to release the human rights defenders and drop all charges against them.