Authorities target two more independent newspapers

first_img RSF_en Follow the news on Belarus BelarusEurope – Central Asia Reporters Without Borders today voiced its utmost concern about the fate ofthe independent press in Belarus after the Minsk independent daily NashaSvoboda was sentenced on 2 August to pay a fine that threatens its survivaland as authorities continue with plans to prosecute the independentnewspaper Rabochy. These moves were preceded by the jail sentences imposedin June on the editor and a journalist of the Grodno opposition newspaperPagonya.”The government succeeded in getting rid of Pagonya and now pursues its shamjustice by attacking Nasha Svoboda and Rabochy”, Reporters Without Borderssecretary-general Robert Ménard said in a letter to Information MinisterMikhail Podgainy. “We ask you to drop all these abusive proceedings againstindependent newspapers. We also ask you to modify the penal code in order toeliminate prison sentences for defamation, in particular article 367/2concerning defamation of the President of the Republic.”On 2 August, journalist Mikhail Podolyak and his newspaper, Nasha Svoboda,were sentenced to fines of 15 million and 100 million Belarusian rublesrespectively for libeling Anatoly Tozik, president of theCommittee for State Control. On 1 August, the day before the trial started,authorities seized Nasha Svoboda’s computers.Meanwhile, Rabochy editor Viktor Ivaskevich faces a possible five-year jailsentence when he comes to trial on 11 September for allegedly defamingPresident Alexander Lukashenko under article 367/2 of the penal code in areport that appeared in a special elections issue in summer 2001. As aresult of the report, entitled “A thief belongs in prison”, 40,000 copies ofthe special issue were confiscated.Previously, on 24 June, Pagonya editor Nikolay Markevitch and one of thenewspaper’s journalists, Pavel Majeyko, were sentenced to prison terms withhard labour for allegedly defaming President Lukashenko. Their appeal is dueto be heard on 15 August. BelarusEurope – Central Asia Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown August 7, 2002 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Authorities target two more independent newspapers Help by sharing this information RSF at the Belarusian border: “The terrorist is the one who jails journalists and intimidates the public” “We welcome opening of criminal investigation in Lithuania in response to our complaint against Lukashenko” RSF says to go furthercenter_img News News May 28, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts Organisation June 2, 2021 Find out more News May 27, 2021 Find out more Newslast_img read more