On February 10, journalist Lyubou Lunyova and cameraman Zmitser Soltan were tried in Savetski district court of Minsk. They have been sentenced to 10 and 15 days in jail respectively.
The two cases were considered by judge Maryna Fyodarava. Lyubou Lunyova and Zmitser Soltan were charged under Article 17.1 of the Code of Administrative Offences (‘petty hooliganism’). The Minsk police detained the crew on Monday when they were working not far from the Philharmonic.
The protocols drawn upon on Lunyova and Soltan were identical. According to them, the duo allegedly ‘expressed dissatisfaction with the work of the representatives of Interior Ministry, interfere with the police officers’ activity, talked loudly, called policemen punishers and fascists’ in the hall of Savetski District Department of Interior. Policeman Mikita Belski was witnessing against the Belsat contributors in court.
On December 7, Lyubou Lunyova was detained along with cameraman Ivan Kurakevich when they were about to cover the March of Wisdom in the Belarusian capital city. However, the police drew protocols upon them for ‘participation in an unauthorised mass event’ (Art. 23.34 of the Code of Administrative Offences). The both media workers were sent to the notorious detention centre on Akrestsin Street in Minsk. On the same day , an ambulance car was called to the facility; health workers provided first aid to Lunyova and took her to the cardiology unit of Hospital #9. After spending there two weeks, she was discharged and a trial date was set; in late December, a Minsk court fined the journalist 30 basic units (about 310 USD). Ivan Kurakevich was sentenced to 15 days of arrest.