Homiel court imposed Br 5.4 mln fine on freelance journalist Kastus Zhukouski for ‘illegal production and distribution of media products’ under Article 22.9 of the Administrative Code. Covering a high-profile baby murder case, Zhukouski stressed that the authorities punished local school teachers and doctors who ‘had overlooked’ a troubled family.
His case was based on article ‘Teachers, doctors punished for murdered child’ that was published on belsat.eu: the journalist was collecting information for it. He did an interview with teachers and doctors who were made scapegoats and then posted footage on Youtube.
Kastus Zhukouski says he is not guilty as he is not an employee of Belsat TV. The article was signed by another author.
“The verdict shows that they have started to mop-up the media scene before the [presidential] election. They are persecuting me only for my collecting and disributing information that sparked a massive public outcry,” he told Belsat.
The regime keeps hunting for independent journalists. This year Belarusian courts have imposed fines on Ales Lyauchuk, Alina Litvinchuk, Larysa Shchyrakova, Tamara Shchapyotkina. Ales Kirkevich, Ales Dzyanisau and Andrei Myaleshka may be brought to justice.