Three more Belsat TV contributors serving 15-day jail term

Artsyom Lyava Photo:

Another two persons linked to Belsat TV have been sentenced to administrative arrest on Wednesday.

Freelancer Artsyom Lyava who has been cooperating with Belsat for a long time was detained not far from Kamarouski market during Sunday’s March of People Power in Minsk. The man was taken to Pershamayski district police station, transported to the prison in the town of Zhodzina (50 km from Minsk) and then sent back to the notorious detention centre in Akrestsin Street in the Belarusian capital.

Being tried in Pershamayski district court of Minsk, Artsyom Lyava was found guilty of participating in an ‘unauthorised mass event’ under Art. 23.34 of the Code of Administrative Offences and given 15 days in custody. The same charge and sentence was imposed on producer Yauhen Shapchyts who, like Lyava, was arrested on Sunday and transferred from Minsk to Zhodzina and back. It should be noted that trying journalists for taking part in demonstrations is against the Belarusian law; in accordance with the law on media, a person reporting from a public event is not a participant in it.

14th protest Sunday: Hundreds of detainees at People Power March in Minsk

Shapchyts and Lyava were to have stood trial on Monday, but the hearings were postponed due to the overload of detainees whose cases were subject to consideration.

Today our Mahiliou-based reporter Alyaksandr Sidlareuski has started to serve a 15-day jail term he got in mid October. At the moment, Belsat and Vot Tak TV contributors Dzmitry Soltan and Pavel Dabravolski are also being held behind bars.

Since the beginning of post-election protests on August 9, Belsat journalists and contributors have been sentenced to more than 280 days of administrative arrest.

320 cases of detaining journos since election day – BAJ