Detained and beaten journalist from Hantsavichy fined

The judge found him guilty of disobeying an official and violating the order of holding mass events, Intex-press reports.

The journalist Alyaksandr Paznyak from Hantsavitski Chas was brutally detained by local police on Saturday June 20. Together with his colleague Syarhei Bahrou and several other local residents he spent a weekend in the local police department, and on Monday, June 22, they were taken to court in Baranavichy.

Alyaksandr Paznyak in court. Photo: Iryna Komik / intex-press.by

On Saturday, according to his editorial assignment (“Hantsavitski Chas” registered with the Ministry of Information), he covered the action of solidarity with political prisoners in Hantsavichy. He also streamed the event in VK. Already at court, he said that he was brutally detained.

“They threw me on the grass, grabbed me by the hair and beat me on the ribs and in the face. They cuffed me,” said the journalist.

During the interrogation in court, he noted that he was doing his job as a journalist. He said that the policemen did not show up until two hours after the action started. At once their actions were aggressive: they started to interfere with filming. But as soon as Alyaksandr said he was a journalist, they stopped interfering with him.

Alyaksandr Paznyak before the court hearing. Photo: Iryna Komik / intex-press.by

A witness , deputy head of Hantsavichy police, noted during his testimony that Paznyak did not react to the police demands to disperse and was a participant of the action. Thus, physical force was used against him.

As a result, despite the case materials, the judge found Paznyak guilty under Article 23.4 (disobedience) and Article 23.34 (violation of the order of holding mass events) of the Code of Administrative Violations. The journalist will appeal against the court decision.

Apart from Pazniak, Yahor Dulik was tried in Baranavichy the other day. He was recording the journalists’ detention by the police. The man had a rib broken and was taken straight from the court to hospital.

  • On June 18-20, actions of solidarity with the detained Viktar Babaryka were held all over the country. However, the action in Hantsavichy stood out by its harsh detention: photos, where the policeman was kneeling on the neck of the detained man were seen over the internet.
  • The Belarusian Association of Journalists issued a statement demanding the release of all detained journalists. The statement says that 14 media representatives were arrested all over the country. Some journalists were beaten during the arrest. Belsat also joined the statement.

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