Siarhej Karpienka, journalist contributing for Belsat, was charged with offending policemen in response to a compliant brought in by him on police brutality. Mr. Karpienka was subjected to police violence in city of Lida, during a silent protest in June.
The journalist was not participating in the protest, not even reporting it. He was just strolling with his wife in the city center, when the police approached him, told him they knew who he was, handcuffed him and brutally dragged to the car. His suffered from a serious head injury as a consequence.
After the incident, the reporter was accused of minor rowdiness and disobeying police orders. But in court charges were dismissed based on a video presented as an evidence, which showed the journalist covered in blood, on the ground, not resisting at all.
Mr. Karpienka submitted an official compliant on police brutality. He also presented results of medical examination as an evidence. Ever since, he has been subjected to threats and harassment form the police. Finally, the prosecutor decided that there was no wrongdoing on the police side, but rather it was Mr. Karpienka who cursed at the police officers in public and hence should be prosecuted.