Ramuald Ulan, a former owner and editor-in-chief of the newspaper Novaya Gazeta of Smarhon, has been sentenced to 2.5 years of restriction of liberty for ‘publishing libel against police officers’ under Art. 188 of the Criminal Code. The man pleaded not guiulty, human rights centre Viasna reports.
In early autumn, leaflets containing the policemen’s personal data appeared in the Belarusian town of Smarhon; their authors claimed that some officers were giving false testimony in court. Ramuald took pictures of the leaflets and posted the photos in one of the local web communities on the Vkontakte social network. In response, seven policemen sued him.
The 55-year-old entrepreneur provides printing services in Smarhon. In September, the police raided his office and confiscated 13 pieces of equipment. To support Ulan’s small business, unindifferent people brought computers and paper, and the man continued his activity. On the back of the sentence, however, he will be sent to an open-type correction facility.