Committee to Protect Journalists urges to release Belsat contributor

The Belsat cameraman was detained while performing his journalist duties. Alexander Barazienka was filming a one-man action of solidarity with Belarusian political prisoners in front of the KGB headquarters in Minsk. When Mikita Kavalenka, an activist of the European Belarus civil campaign, unfurled a placard with pictures of the political prisoners and an unrecognized white-red-white Belarusian flag, KGB agents seized both. On Monday, January 9, the Minsk Central District Court sentenced Barazienka to 11 days of administrative arrest while Mikita Kavalenka was given 15. They were adjudged guilty of violating the order of holding mass rallies. Soon after the sentence Alexander went on hunger strike in protest.

“We call on Belarusian authorities to immediately release Alexander Barazienka, who was simply doing his job, reporting on a news event,” CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said. “The blitz trial in which Barazienka was pronounced guilty and sentenced to prison in just one day is a travesty of justice that cements the country’s reputation as the last dictatorship of Europe”.

Alexander Barazienka was repeatedly detained while performing his professional duties. On December, 19, 2011 he was seized during the performance of the activists of FEMEN, a Ukranian protest group, in front of the KGB headquarters in Minsk. But at that time he was released having spent some hours in an Internal Affairs Directorate.


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