Journalist Andrey Alyaksandrau and his girlfriend Iryna Zlobina has been placed on the preventive register as persons prone to extremist and destructive actions, news agency BelaPAN reports.
Last week it became known that imprisoned Belsat TV journalist Katsyaryna Andreyeva was found herself in the same situation. The corresponding decision was taken at a meeting of the special commission, where she was asked whether she recognised her crime, and Katsyaryna answered she did not.
Alyaksandrau and Zlobina were arrested on January 12 as suspects in a criminal case initiated under Part 2 of Article 342 of the Criminal Code (‘organisation and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, financing or other support of such activity’).
The couple ‘financed the protest actions that took part in the mass riots, including by paying fines and receipts for detention in isolation wards’, the Belarusian Ministry of Internal Affairs claims. According to them, Alyaksandrau and Zlobina paid more than 250 fines imposed on the detainees in ‘protest’ cases; they got the lists and funds from the solidarity foundation BY_Help.
On the back of the arrest, the Belarusian human rights community assessed the persecution of Alyaksandrau and Zlobina as ‘politically motivated and aimed at stopping their activities to help the victims of political repressions’ and recognised them as political prisoners.
“Gathering voluntary donations from citizens and helping to pay fines to persons who have been held administratively liable only for the fact of participation in peaceful assemblies and realization of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution of Belarus and international norms of human rights, freedom of peaceful assemblies and expression, have nothing in common with financing of any illegal activity and, accordingly, are not a crime,” Belarusian human rights defenders believe.