Picket in support of imprisoned Belsat TV journos. Join us in Warsaw!

Trial of Darya Chultsova and Katsyaryna Andreyeva. Мinsk, 18 February 2021. Photo: АВ / Belsat

On April 23, representatives of Belsat TV and the Belarusian diaspora in Poland will be holding a picket of solidarity with our jailed colleagues Katsyaryna Andreyeva and Darya Chultsova as well as all independent journalists persecuted by the Belarusian authorities.

The event is to start at 19.00 (local time) near the building of the Belarusian Embassy in Warsaw (Wiertnicza Street, 58).

In light of the pandemic-related restrictions, no more than five persons can take part in the solidarity action at the same point of time. Consequently, our picket will be rotational, e.g. only five participants may gather in front the embassy for some time, then they are expected to be replaced by another five. The rest can wait for their turn on the other side of the street (of course, we are going to keep the proper distance and wear masks).

See you on Friday at 7pm! Posters and flags are welcome.

Belsat TV contributors Katsyaryna Andreyeva and Darya Chultsova have been behind bars for over five months.

Katsyaryna Andreyeva and Darya Chultsova sentenced to two years of imprisonment

They were arrested on November 15 for broadcasting live a violent dispersal of a rally in memory of murdered protester Raman Bandarenka and the destruction of a national memorial in the so called Square of Change by security forces. They were filming and commenting on what was going on from the apartment on the 14th floor of the house on Smarhouski Trakt Street in Minsk, where they had been invited by the hosts. After the rally, armed riot police broke the door to the apartment and detained the crew. On November 20, they were charged under Part 1 of Article 342 of the Criminal Code (organisation and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order).

The two Belsattters’ case was considered in Frunzenski district court of Minsk within three days in February. The investigators claim the Belsat crew ‘coordinated protesters and called for further actions’, but the two media workers were just performing their professional duties by reporting from the scene. Moreover, in accordance with the authorities’ version, the livestream of the journalists resulted in the stoppage of 13 buses, 3 trolleybuses and 3 streetcar routes as well as the damage to the city transport agency Minsktrans (around 11,562 rubles). Public prosecutor Alina Kasyanchyk demanded the girls serve a two-year prison term each and their working equipment be confiscated in profit of the state. The defence lawyers asked the court to acquit the defendants due to the lack of evidence, but the judge took heed of the prosecution’s opinion.

On November 24, Belarusian human rights watchdogs recognised Katsyaryna Andreyeva and Darya Chultsova as political prisoners.

Story of imprisoned Belsat journalists Katsyaryna Andreyeva and Darya Chultsova