Cameraman Ivan Kurakevich gets 15-day jail term

Ivan Kurakevich.

On Tuesday, Belsat TV contributor Ivan Kurakevich has been found guilty of ‘violation of rules of holding mass events’ and sentenced to 15 days of administrative arrest.

Kurakevich was detained along with reporter Lyubou Lunyova when they were covering the March of Wisdom on December, 7. However, he 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 in Akrestsin Street in Minsk. However, on Monday evening, 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.

Police bar elderly Minskers from holding Wisdom March. Belsat journos detained

At the moment, two Belsat TV contributors facing criminal charges are behind bars.

In mid November, a Belsat TV crew (journalist Katsyaryna Andreyeva (Bakhvalava) and camerawoman Darya Chultsova were detained immediately after their livestreaming and covering the brutal crackdown on protesters who gathered in the so-called Square of Change, one of the offstreet yards in Charvyakou Street in Minsk. Earlier, Minsker Raman Bandarenka had been abducted from that yard and beaten to death.

Chultsova and Andreyeva are accused of ‘organising and preparing actions that grossly violate public order’ (Art. 342-1 of the Criminal Code). If found guilty, the two girls who are now being held in Zhodzina prison may be sentenced to up to three years of imprisonment.

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

It is an open secret that messages from outside give enourmous support and encouragement to a prisoner; that is why we urge our readers to send letters to the jailed journalists:

Кацярына Андрэева (Бахвалава): 222160 Беларусь, г. Жодзіна, вул. Савецкая, д. 22а / Katsyaryna Andreyeva (Bakhvalava): Savetskaya Street 22a, Zhodzina, 222160 Belarus

Дарʼя Чульцова: 222160 Беларусь, г. Жодзіна, вул. Савецкая, д. 22а / Darya Chultsova: Savetskaya Street 22a, Zhodzina, 222160 Belarus

Кацярына Барысевіч: Беларусь, 220030 г. Менск, вул. Валадарскага, д. 2. СІЗА № 1 / Katsyaryna Barysevich: Detention facility Nr 1, Valadarski Street 2, Minsk, 220030 Belarus

Don’t forget to enclose an empty envelope so that the girls could respond to your letter. Thank you for your unindifference!