Another administrative case has been initiated against Zmitser Lupach, a journalist from the town of Hlybokaye, who works with Belsat TV.
On May 15, police officer Uladzimir Chapulyonak visited the journalist and drew a protocol upon him under Article 22.9 of the Code of Administrative Offences (illegal production and distribution of media products). The hearing is to take place in Sharkaushchyna district court on May, 26.
A week ago, three policemen – two plainclothed and one uniformed (major Syarhei Tsyrban) – came to the office and ordered Lupach to follow them, promising that it ‘would not take much time’. However, the journalist who was put in the predetention centre on the same day had to spend the weekend in a windowless cell.
On May 11, he was charged and sentenced under Art. 22.9. He got a fine of 1,215 rubles (nearly $500). Zmitser was also tried for his alleged participation in a mass event, and he was punished with ten days in custody. It should be noted that Zmitser Lupach was present at last week’s rallies, but he just performed his journalistic duties by filming and covering the protests.
On the heels of the hearing, the Belsat contributor became sick as he had had high blood pressure since early morning. His friends called an ambulance to the court; paramedics took him to the intensive care unit.
On May 14, Lupach was discharged from hospital. As soon as he returned home, he was informed of four-day suspension of his sentence. At first, Zmitser Lupach was required to appear at the predetention facility on May, 18. However, today he has been ordered to come to the police and immediately start serving the 10-day term.