Kanstantsin Zalatykh, the ex-director of the Belorusy i Rynok newspaper, was sent to Navapolatsk Correctional Facility on July 21. This happened after the dismissal of his appeal by the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court upheld the four-year imprisonment sentence passed by the lower instance court. The defendant was charged with several political articles, most of which were of a defamatory nature, namely the public dissemination of information bringing into disrepute the honor and dignity of a public official. It is alleged that the director of Belorusy i Rynok actively expressed “his tendentious position” on developments in Belarus in recent years, including insulting comments about top state officials.
Kanstantsin Zalatykh turned 54 the following day after the verdict was passed.
On 18 May 2022, the State Security Committee detained the director of the country’s oldest economic newspaper Belorusy i Rynok, Kanstantsin Zalatykh, chief editor Andrei Aleksandrovich, and accountant Yulia Kakhno.
After questioning, Aleksandrovich and Kakhno were released, while Zalatykh was put in custody on unknown charges. Judging from the content of the detention report, the reason was allegedly “inciting social enmity.”
Kanstantsin Zalatykh is an experienced media manager and production administrator who has worked with leading independent media and large state enterprises.
On 23 July 2022, access to the Belorusy i Rynok website he worked at was blocked in Belarus “due to referencing extremist content.” In early December 2022, after 32 years of operation, the editorial board announced that due to difficult financial and political conditions, it was suspending the publication of both the printed and electronic pdf versions. Concurrently, the Ministry of Information unexpectedly issued an order to restore access to the website belmarket.by. Since then, the content on the website has been updated regularly.
On 13 July 2023, the Belarusian KGB listed Kanstantsin Zalatykh as involved in “terrorist activities”. As a result, he cannot receive money transfers in prison. Additionally, on July 21, the Interior Ministry added the political prisoner to the list of “extremists”.