The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media condemned the sentencing of Alexander (Ales) Barazienka, a Belsat contributor, to 11 days’ imprisonment for “participating in an unsanctioned event”.
“Belarus continues to prevent journalists from covering public protests. The Government should allow journalists to cover any political event, whether officially sanctioned or not, for the sake of society’s right to know,” said Mijatović. “I call on the authorities to release Barazienka and stop harassing him and other journalists.”
She reiterated her concern about the “constant harassment that many… journalists suffer in the wake of the unfortunate events a year ago”, expressed in her 19 December 2011 letter to Belarusian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Martynov.
Alexander (Ales) Barazienka was filming a one-man action of solidarity with Belarusian political prisoners in front of the KGB headquarters in Minsk. On January, 9 the Minsk Central District Court sentenced Barazienka to 11 days of administrative arrest. He was adjudged guilty of violating the order of holding mass rallies. Soon after the sentence Alexander went on hunger strike in protest.