In protest, journalist Larysa Shchyrakova appeared in Kalinkavichy district court with a bandage over her mouth.
In April 2018, Shchyrakova livestreamed from a flat in Kalinkavichy, where several representatives of the Mothers-328 movement were on a hunger strike. The main demand of the movement is making amendments into the Criminal Code. They believe that punishment for drug felons is disproportionate and too severe, e.g. up to 10 years behind bars for half a gram of some drug. Belsat TV shared the video on its website.
As a result, judge Svyatlana Kuheyka imposed a heavy fine (BYN 980) on the journalist for ‘illegal production and distribution of media products (Art. 22.9 of the Administrative Code). Shchyrakova is going to appeal the ruling.
On May 28, five administrative protocols under the same article were drawn upon independence journalists Zmitser Lupach and Tatsyana Smotkina.
Belsat TV contributors Katsyaryna Andreyeva, Syarhei Kavaliou, Tatsyana Belashova, Vital Dubik, Volha Czajczyc, Andrus Kozel have been summoned to the Minsk police. They will have to appear there on May, 29.
In mid May, Homiel-based blogger Maxim Filipovich said he would be tried for allegedly contributing to Belsat – the police became suspicious him after our channel had used the blogger’s video.
The OSCE and Reporters Without Borders have recently condemned the persecution of Belarusian journalists.