Belarus police beat pensioner, but trial staring in face of journo

In late April, Belsat TV aired a news story about a pensioner battered by policemen.

In broad day-light. local police officers threw 80-year-old Iosif Vyshadko, a resident of Hlybokaye district, into the car, broke his leg and imposed a heavy fine (BYN 1,225) on him.

On May 25, freelance journalist Zmitser Lupach, who covered story, received a summons from Hlybokaye district police station. An administrative case has been initiated against Zmitser.

Tatsyana Smotkina, a journalist at Radio Racyja, has been summoned to the police together with Lupach.

“I am outraged by the fact that the police started to persecute journalists instead of sorting out the situation and offering apologies to Iosif Vyshadka. At the same time they began to intimidate the victim saying that he would be punished for defamation of the police. As far as I know, on that day, the police beat another resident of Hlybokaye, who is now trying to prove his innocence in court. Such actions do not improve the image of the police, especially when they start to fight against independent journalists,” Lupach commented on the situation.

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