Fifty days behind bars: Two Belsat TV contributors still in jail

Today is the 50th day that Journalist Katsyaryna Andreyeva and camerawoman Darya Chultsova are spending in custody.

Last week, Katsyaryna Andreyeva was barred from meeting with her husband; a corresponding resolution was signed by Ihar Kurylovich, a senior officer at Frunzenski district department of the Investigative Committee. According to him, such visit could contribute to Katsyaryna’s ‘fleeing from criminal prosecution and trial’.

“I believe Kurylovich’s decision to be unfounded; his explanations are wholly void of any sense. In my appeal, I did not ask to change Katsyaryna’s measure of restraint, I just wanted to see her,” Andreyeva’s husband, investigative journalist Ihar Ilyash, commented on the situation.

In mid November, Katsyaryna Andreyeva (Bakhvalava) and 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 on 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 may be sentenced to up to three years of imprisonment.

On November 24, Belarusian human rights activists recognised them (along with TUT.BY 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!