Belarus: RSF unveils portraits of 27 imprisoned media professionals

27 professionnels des médias biélorusses emprisonnés

As 23 May marks the anniversary of the hijacking of a plane by Alexander Lukashenko's regime to arrest journalist Raman Pratasevich, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reminds the world that 27 media professionals are locked up in Belarusian prisons and urges for their release.

Twenty-three May will mark the first anniversary of the hijacking of the Athens-Vilnius Ryanair flight in order to arrest journalist Raman Pratasevich. An unprecedented event symbolising “the war President Lukashenko is waging on journalism, which has entered a nightmarish phase,” said Christophe Deloire, the secretary-general of Reporters Without Borders (RSF). 

This crackdown on journalists in Belarus is being carried out in particular through legal proceedings on spurious grounds, especially on the charge of “extremism”. Raman Pratasevich has to answer the case against him with the charges of: organisation of riots, organisation and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them, and incitement to hatred. While he has been under house arrest in an unknown location since June 2021, today, 27 media professionals are incarcerated in Belarus, the fourth largest prison for journalists in the world.

"The authorities have been trying to suppress all independent voices and strike fear into the hearts of journalists for almost 2 years” said Jeanne Cavelier, the head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk. “RSF hails the courage of those who continue to report on the crackdown in Belarus and calls to stop such harassment and to release Raman Pratasevich and the 27 journalists jailed for doing their job.”

 

Katsiaryna Andreyeva (Bakhvalava)

Journalist at Belsat TV

Charges: organisation and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them (art. 342 of the Criminal Code), high treason (art. 356)

Jailed since: 15 November 2020

Judicial situation: sentenced on 18 February to 2 years in prison, awaiting trial on new charges (expected May 2022)

 

Darya Chultsova

Journalist at Belsat TV

Charges: organisation and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them (art. 342 of the Criminal Code)

Jailed since: 15 November 2020

Judicial situation: sentenced on 18 February to 2 years in prison

 

Siarhei Hardziyevich

Journalist at Perchy Reguion

Charges: insulting the President of the Republic of Belarus (art. 368 of the Criminal Code), insulting a government official (art. 369), Defamation (art. 188)

Jailed since: 22 December 2020

Judicial situation: sentenced on 2 August to 1 and a half years in prison

 

Kseniya Lutskina

Former journalist at Belarus 2 TV, co-founder of a YouTube channel project 

Charges: conspiracy to seize power in an unconstitutional way (art. 357 of the Criminal Code)

Jailed since: 22 December 2020

Judicial situation: on remand, awaiting trial

  

Andrei Aliaksandrau

founder and chief editor of the news website Belaruski Zhurnal, former deputy director of BelaPAN

Charges: organisation and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them (art. 342 of the Criminal Code), evasion of taxes and fees (art. 243), High treason (art. 356), creation of an extremist formation, or participation in it (art. 361-1)

Jailed since: 12 January 2021

Judicial situation: on remand, awaiting trial

  

Dzianis Ivachyne

Investigative journalist at Novy Chas, editor of the InformNapalm news website

Charges: interference in the activities of a police officer (art. 365 of the Criminal Code), High treason (art. 356)

Jailed since: 12 March 2021

Judicial situation: on remand, awaiting trial

 

Andrzej Poczobut

Correspondent of the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza 

Charges: incitement to hatred (art.130 of the Criminal Code)

Jailed since: 25 March 2021

Judicial situation: on remand, awaiting trial

 

Maryna Zolatava

Editor-in-chief of Tut.by

Charges: evasion of taxes and fees (art. 243 of the Criminal Code)

Jailed since: 18 May 2021

Judicial situation: on remand, awaiting trial

  

Alena Talkachova

Journalist at Tut.by

Charges: evasion of taxes and fees (art. 243 of the Criminal Code)

Jailed since: 18 May 2021

Judicial situation: on remand, awaiting trial

  

Valerya Kastsiuhava

Editor at the Belarusian Yearbook

Charges: calls for actions aimed at causing harm to the national security (art. 361 of the Criminal Code), conspiracy to seize power in an unconstitutional way (art. 357)

Jailed since: 30 June 2021

Judicial situation: on remand, awaiting trial

 

Aliaksandr Ivulin

Journalist at Tribuna

Charges: organisation and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them (art. 342 of the Criminal Code)

Jailed since: 3 June 2021

Judicial situation: sentenced on 19 January 2022 to 2 years in prison

 

Yahor Martsinovich

Editor-in-chief of Nasha Niva

Charges: infliction of property damage without signs of theft (art. 216 of the Criminal Code)

Jailed since: 8 July 2021

Judicial situation: sentenced on 15 March 2022 to 2 and a half years in prison

 

Andrei Skurko

Journalist and head of marketing at Nasha Niva

Charges: infliction of property damage without signs of theft (art. 216 of the Criminal Code)

Jailed since: 8 July 2021

Judicial situation: sentenced on 15 March 2022 to 2 and a half years in prison

  

Iryna Levshyna

Director and editor-in-chief of BelaPAN 

Charges: creation of an extremist formation, or participation in it (art. 361-1 of the Criminal Code)

Jailed since: 18 August 2021

Judicial situation: on remand, awaiting trial

 

Dzmitry Navajylau

Former director of BelaPAN

Charges: evasion of taxes and fees (art. 243 of the Criminal Code), Creation of an extremist formation, or participation in it (art. 361-1)

Jailed since: 18 August 2021

Judicial situation: on remand, awaiting trial

 

Genadz Mazheika

Journalist at Komsomolskaya Pravda v Belarus

Charges: incitement to hatred (art.130 of the Criminal Code), insulting a government official (art. 369)

Jailed since: 2 October 2021

Judicial situation: on remand, awaiting trial

 

Iryna Slaunikava

Journalist at Belsat TV 

Charges: organisation and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them (art. 342 of the Criminal Code), creation of an extremist formation, or participation in it (art. 361-1)

Jailed since: 30 October 2021

Judicial situation: on remand, awaiting trial

 

Andrei Kuznechyk

Journalist at Radio Svaboda (RFE/RL)

Charges: not known

Jailed since: 25 November 2021

Judicial situation: on remand, awaiting trial

 

Siarhei Satsiuk

Editor-in-chief of Ejednevnik (EJ.BY)

Charges: taking a bribe (art. 430 of the Criminal Code)

Jailed since: 8 December 2021

Judicial situation: on remand, awaiting trial

  

Aleh Hruzdzilovich

Journalist at Radio Svaboda (RFE/RL)

Charges: organisation and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them (art. 342 of the Criminal Code)

Jailed since: 23 December 2021

Judicial situation: sentenced on 3 March 2022 to 1 and a half years in prison

 

Aksana Kolb

Editor-in-chief of Novy Chas

Charges: organisation and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them (art. 342 of the Criminal Code)

Jailed since: 20 April 2022

Judicial situation: on remand, awaiting trial

  

Yury Hantsarevich

Journalist at Intex-Press

Charges: promotion of extremist activities (article 361-4 of the Criminal Code)

Jailed since: 5 May 2022

Judicial situation: on remand, awaiting trial

  

Dzmitry Luksha

Journalist at Khabar 24

Charges: organisation and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them (art. 342 of the Criminal Code), discrediting the Republic of Belarus (article 369-1)

Jailed since: 11 March 2022

Judicial situation: on remand, awaiting trial

 

Ihar Losik

Founder of the Telegram channel Belarus Golovnogo Mozga, consultant for Radio Svaboda (RFE/RL) 

Charges: organisation of riots (part 1 of Art. 293 of the Criminal Code), Incitement to hatred (art.130)

Jailed since: 25 June 2020

Judicial situation: sentenced on 14 December 2021 to 15 years in prison

 

Eduard Palchys

Founder of the 1863x.com website

Charges: organisation of riots (part 1 of Art. 293 of the Criminal Code), organisation and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them (art. 342), calls for actions aimed at causing harm to the national security (art. 361) Incitement to hatred (art.130)

Jailed since: 27 September 2020

Judicial situation: sentenced on 17 December 2021 to 13 years in prison

  

Liudmila Chekina

General director of TUT.BY

Charges: evasion of taxes and fees (art. 243 of the Criminal Code)

Jailed since: 18 May 2021

Judicial situation: on remand, awaiting trial

  

Kanstantsin Zalatykh

Director of Belorusy i Rynok

Charges: incitement to hatred (art.130 of the Criminal Code)

Jailed since: 18 May 2021

Judicial situation: on remand, awaiting trial

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