Minsk: Sports journo Alyaksandr Ivulin sentenced to 2 years of imprisonment

On January 19, Savetski district court of Minsk passed a guilty verdict in the case of Alyaksandr Ivulin, a journalist at the sports media outlet Tribuna and a football player of Krumkachy team, Mediazona Belarus reports. The defendant has been behind bars for more than seven months.

Journalist Alyaksandr Ivulin. Photo: tribuna.com

Ivulin was detained in early June in Minsk. After spending 30 days in the notorious detention centre on Akrestsin Street, he was not released. The Belarusian human rights community recognised Alyaksandr Ivulin as a political prisoner.

Notably, during Alyaksandr’s being in ‘Akrestsin’, food parcels were not being handed over to prisoners; they might be deprived of mattresses and pillows; in most cases, inmates were taken out of the cells only when handcuffed and with their hands raised behind their backs. On the night of July 10, the journalist was placed in remand prison Nr 1, where the confinement conditions were reported to be better: inmates get mattresses and bedsheets, they even have a chance to take a shower or watch TV. In addition, the city transport agency Minsktrans sued Ivulin for allegedly inflicting damages. The sum claimed is 39,000 Belarusian rubles (appr. $15,000).

Later, the arrestee charged under Part 1 of Article 342 of the Criminal Code (‘organisation and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order’). According to the Belarusian authorities, they have photos of Alyaksandr going down the roadway during the post-election protests, which gave ground for accusing him of ‘blocking off traffic’. Moreover, they faulted him for posting videos on Youtube from August 2020 to March 2021, which, in their view, ‘created a negative image of the current authorities’ and ‘egged people on to take part in unrest’.

Today judge Syarhei Shatsila has taken heed of the prosecutor’s demand and sentenced Alyaksandr Ivulin to two years of imprisonment in a penal colony.

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