A Belorussian human rights defender, Bialatski, who participated yesterday in a rally of support for imprisoned Andrzej Poczobut, thinks that the trial of the Gazeta Wyborcza journalist is purely political. – The charges are based only on so call “defamation” articles, which were introduced in the Belorussian Criminal Code only for the authorities to be able to repress freedom of speech in Belarus. – he said. The closed-doors hearings proves that the basis for accusations is very weak.
Bialatski also commented on the struggle championed by Belorussian human rights defenders to remove the “defamation” articles from the criminal code. – Recently, the authorities started to employ those articles to silent journalists who talk about the problems in our country. The Poczobut’s case was prepared by the regime in order to threaten Belorussian journalists and active users of the Internet and social networks. – he stressed in an interview with Belsat TV.
Bialatski called Poczobut’s trial “another assault on the democratic freedoms” and revenge on journalists. – I am convinced that this trial will be followed by another legal proceedings targeting journalists. – he said. Bialatski appealed for a strong reaction of the international community.