Belarus jails 2 reporters for coverage of anti-government protest

Trending News

Trending News

More

U.K. Katerina Andreeva, 27, and Daria Chultsova, 23, who both work for Poland-based television network Belsat, were convicted of fomenting protest with their live-streamed coverage of a demonstration against Belarus’ autocratic President Alexander Lukashenko. Belarus strongman says he’s “survived” foreign “blitzkrieg”They were found guilty of “organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order” while doing their live-stream coverage of an unauthorized demonstration last November, the Belarus Association of Journalists said. Journalists Darya Chultsova and Katsiaryna Andreyeva were sentenced to 2 years in prison for a live stream from Bandarenka’s memorial in Nov.Just look at Darya and Katsiaryna – strong, smiling, and saying goodbyes to their loved ones through bars. Andreeva and Chultsova were arrested inside an apartment in central Minsk from which they were covering a mass rally outside in memory of 31-year-old activist Roman Bondarenko. 2 reporters sent to prison “for doing their job,” covering Belarus anti-government protest

By Alexandra Odynova

February 18, 2021 / 9:46 AM
/ CBS News

Belsat TV journalists Katerina Andreyeva (R) and Daria Chultsova, who were detained in November while reporting on anti-government protests, flash the V-sign from a defendants’ cage during their trial in Minsk, February 18, 2021. “This conviction is intended to intimidate the entire profession, to criminalize journalism. The International Federation of Journalists, along with the European Federation of Journalists, condemned the Thursday ruling in a statement saying the women had been, “sentenced to two years in prison for doing their job.””Today’s verdict is a clear attack on press freedom and we all stand together against this mockery of justice,” IFJ President Younes Mjahed said in a statement. pic.twitter.com/nVk0u883Ia— Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya (@Tsihanouskaya) February 18, 2021

“Just look at Darya and Katsiaryna — strong, smiling, and saying goodbyes to their loved ones through bars,” said Tikhanovskaya in a tweet. The official election results were condemned by many in Belarus and the West as a mockery of democracy. 

Putin extends $1.5 billion lifeline to Belaru… 08:53

Belarus authorities responded to the protests with a mass crackdown, resulting in the deaths of at least four protesters, thousands of arrests and hundreds of people being severely beaten in custody. will infect healthy volunteers in COVID-19 “challenge trial”

Democrats unveil Biden-backed immigration overhaul bill

Olympic swimming medalist accused of running drug ring

“We have to go”: Climate change drives migration from Central America

China’s Mars probe enters orbit around red planet

“I showed those events in the Square of Change in a live broadcast on Belsat TV, which resulted in my being locked up under a fabricated and preposterous charge,” Andreeva told the court. She and Chultsova hugged and smiled inside a defendants’ cage in the Minsk courtroom. STRINGER/AFP/Getty

Belarus human rights groups have labeled the journalists political prisoners. Opposition leaders have dismissed his promises for constitutional reform and say he must leave office. Belsat TV journalists Katerina Andreeva (R) and Daria Chultsova, who were detained in November while reporting on anti-government protests, embrace in a defendant’s cage during their trial in Minsk on February 18, 2021. “They committed this crime with the help of phones, wearing the ‘Press’ vests,” the prosecutor said in court, according to the Belsat network. The repressive drift of dictator Lukashenko’s regime requires a rapid and firm reaction from the international community.” The leader of Belarus’ political opposition, Sviatlana Tikhanovskaya, who’s currently living in exile in Europe, also criticized the ruling and praised the two journalists’ bravery. “Lukashenka can’t break us.”

Earlier this week another Belarus court started hearing the case against leading opposition member Viktor Babariko, who was arrested in June before he could challenge Lukashenko’s 26-year rule in the presidential election. STRINGER/AFP/Getty

A court in Belarus handed two local journalists two-year prison sentences on Thursday for their live coverage of an anti-government rally in the capital Minsk late last year. Lukashenka can’t break us. The two women both pleaded not guilty and dismissed the charges as trumped-up political persecution. 

Belarusian authorities have launched a series of criminal investigations targeting opposition activists and journalists following the months-long protests over Lukashenko’s claimed landslide victory in an August presidential election. He was beaten by masked men who had been tearing down opposition symbols posted on the streets, and he later died in a hospital after being detained by police. He faces up to 15 years in prison on bribery charges.  Lukashenko, who rode out the protests last year thanks largely to the backing of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has said he’s planning to draft a new constitution, but he hasn’t given any indication whether he might step down. The investigation into Andreeva’s and Chultsova’s actions concluded that they helped cause a disruption of public transport. Lukashenko and Putin are scheduled to meet in Russia on Monday. 
First published on February 18, 2021 / 9:46 AM