Hrodna journalists go on a hunger strike

Two journalists, Ales Dzianisav and Mikolai Dziatchenya, arrested on July 3rd during a demonstration in Hrodna, announced they are going on a hunger strike in protest of their sentences.

Dzianiasav was handed 10 days in prison. His trial was intended to be held behind the closed doors in a temporary arrest. But wife of the arrested journalist managed to take part in it as witness.

She testified that they strolled with their daughter and friends across a city square, when men in plain cloths run towards them. – The manner in which they arrested Ales was horrible. They wrested our daughter from his hands, and than dragging him to a police van, dropped him couple of time on the ground. During the court hearing, Ales managed to tell me that he was beaten also after the arrest – Natalia Dzianiava said in an interview with Belsat.

Mikolai Dziatchenya, Belsat’s contributor, also rejected court’s sentence and went on a hunger strike. He was given 3 days of arrest for participating in an illegal action. After his arrest, police and court would not inform his family, where the journalist was held. Only 24 hours later, on Monday, after the sentence was pronounced – the court disclosed the place of his detention.

There were six more journalists arrested on July 3rd, among them: Andrei Fralov, Juriy Gumienka, Igor Bantser, Hanna Naumovich, Grazyna Szalkievich and Mikhal Karnievich. Majority of the arrested journalists was sentenced to some time in detention.

Andrei Fralov – a cameraman cooperating with Belsat, was sentenced to three days of arrest for “disturbing public order during a mass event”. A poet, journalist and a member of an international writers association – Juryi Gumianiuk was sentenced to 12 days of arrest. A journalist and an activist of the unrecognized by the authorities Union of Poles in Belarus was sentenced to 10 days for organizing illegal action. Jan Roman, a Hrodna journalist, informed Belsat that Mikhal Karnievich’s trial was postponed until July 6th. Karnievich is a Radio Liberty journalist.


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