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  • Free Speech Photo Ends with Fines for an Unsanctioned Action

    Today three participants of the photo session in Vitebsk were fined for holding an unauthorized mass event.

    On Novem­ber 28 Chy­hu­nach­ny dis­trict court of Viteb­sk heard cas­es of three peo­ple out of sev­en who posed in the pho­to at the back­ground of the famous graf­fi­ti in Viteb­sk on Novem­ber 5. All three were found guilty of vio­lat­ing arti­cle 23.34 of the Code of Admin­is­tra­tive Offences – the pro­ce­dure of orga­niz­ing or hold­ing mass events. The pho­to was part of the cam­paign of BAJ to sup­port inde­pen­dent jour­nal­ists who are pros­e­cut­ed for coop­er­a­tion with for­eign mass media with­out accred­i­ta­tion, the cam­paign was held with­in the Stand up for Jour­nal­ism cam­paign of the EFJ mem­bers.

    The cas­es were heard in three sep­a­rate tri­als, judges Ale­na Tsy­hanko­va and Dzia­n­is Hubanau. The wit­ness was the police­man who wrote the admin­is­tra­tive reports.

    Jour­nal­ists Zmitser Kaza­ke­vich and Ale­na Stsi­a­pana­va got fines of 20 basic amounts (3 mil­lion rubles, or around 280$), Ale­na Shabunia was fined for 18 basic amounts (with the con­sid­er­a­tion that she has three chil­dren, two under­age).

    Four more cas­es are to be heard on Decem­ber 1.

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