Iryna Novik, the editor of special projects at Hrodna.life, was detained on Tuesday morning when she came to the police station after being called in over the phone; her flat was searched on the same day.
After a protocol was drawn upon her for ‘distributing information products containing calls for extremist activities’, the woman was taken into custody. Iryna Novik spent two days behind bars awaiting the trial.
The journalist was kept alone in the cell; she was forbidden to sit or lie on a board bed from 6.00 to 22.00; thus, the detainee had to stand on her feet all day long.
On June 3, Iryna Novik was tried and fined; she will have to pay 725 rubles (appr. $280) to the state budget. After the trial, the editor was released.
On May 30, Hrodna.life editor-in-chief Alyaksei Shota was detained and released in Hrodna. He had his laptop, phone, three old hard drives, and a WRW umbrella taken away. Being accused of ‘distributing extremist materials’, i.e. to citing sources banned by Belarusian authorities again, he is awaiting trial. Notably, Belarusian officials uploaded to Youtube a video about his detention two days before the detention. If found guilty, he may face a fine of up to 14,500 Belarusian rubles.