Nasha Niva chief editor punished for protesting

Yahor Martsinovich denies participation in the rally on the night of August 11, as well as shouting “Long live Belarus”, “We demand changes.” On September 28, a Minsk court fined the journalist for the amount of 405 BYN under Article 23.34 Administrative Code “Violation of the procedure for organizing or holding mass events.”

Yahor Martsinovich denies the accusation, which claims he participated in an unsanctioned rally from 10 to 11 August. That night, the editor-in-chief of the Nasha Niva newspaper disappeared. In Minsk, mass protests and harsh detentions of protesters and passers-by took place. As Martsinovich said in court, he was on his way to pick up his wife, journalist Adarya Hushtyn, from work. The commandos pulled him out of the car, threw him into a paddy wagon, beat him up, held him on the ground near the Zavadski police department until morning and transferred him to the Zhodzina prison. Law enforcers did not tell his relatives and journalists where he was.

On September 23, officers of the Internal Security Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs conducted a search in the journalist’s home. Martsinovich was taken to the Investigative Committee for questioning. From there he ended up in an isolation ward in Akrestsina Street, where he spent three days. He was released in the status of a suspect in a criminal libel case against the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Alyaksandr Barsukou — for an article claiming that Barsukou beat DJ Sakalouski on Akrestina Street. Yahor Martsinovich told Belsat:

“They promised:” If you tell me who gave you information about Barsukou, you’ll go home as a witness.” They asked: “Who paid you for slandering Barsukou, how much did you pay DJ Sakalouski for slandering Barsukou?” The main question was: “Why don’t you leave Belarus just like Tsikhanouskaya did? It’s better to live abroad, isn’t it?”.