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.
The Belarusian authorities set to destroy the TUT.BY outlet on 18 May 2021, when the editorial office and homes of the staff were searched and the media’s management and other staff members were detained.
Before that, TUT.BY was the most popular news portal in Belarus, reaching a large part of Belarusian society and professionally delivering news on politics, economy, culture, sports and many other spheres daily for many years.
The case against TUT.BY and the conviction of its employees is cruel revenge for the truth that TUT.BY delivered to millions of people.
The authorities have traditionally decided to smash the mirror, instead of correcting the terrible Belarusian reality which was properly and professionally reflected in it. It is indicative that TUT.BY was substituted by Zerkalo (rus. ‘mirror’) media outlet, which continued the work of its predecessor despite the repression.
To date, there are 36 media workers behind bars. According to Reporters without Borders, Belarus ranks 3rd in the world for the number of imprisoned female journalists.
The Belarusian Association of Journalists demands annulment of the sentence and immediate release of Maryna Zolatava, Ludmila Chekina and all media representatives currently behind bars.
Je suis TUT.BY!
Journalists are not criminals.
Journalism is not a crime!