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On 21 March, the trial of political TV commentator Dzmitry Semchanka started at Minsk City Court. The well-known regime promoter and head of the presidential pool of journalists was accused of "incitement of social hatred" by means of derogatory comments in Telegram groups. The maximum penalty under this article is up to five years in prison
Political prisoner Ihar Losik attempted suicide in the correctional facility, as reported by the Viasna human rights center.
On 17 March, Minsk City Court read out the sentence in the TUT.BY case.
Slutsk District Court arrested the chief editor and owner of Infa-Kurier, Siarhei Stankevich, and his deputy Aleh Rubchenia for 15 days for defying the police, the Belarusian Association of Journalists reports.
On 17 March, Minsk City Court supported the prosecutor's request and sentenced media expert Valeryia Kastsiuhova and public administration manager Tatsiana Kuzina to 10 years in a general-regime correctional facility. The trial was held behind closed doors.
Harsh sentences for Maryna Zolatava and Ludmila Chekina avenge the truth TUT.BY delivered to millions
Minsk City Court considered in camera the criminal case against the editor-in-chief of the largest Belarusian media outlet TUT.BY, Maryna Zolatava, and TUT.BY CEO Ludmila Chekina. Judge Valiantsina Ziankevich found the TUT.BY workers guilty and imposed huge sentences: Maryna Zolatava received 12 years of imprisonment, Ludmila Chekina – 12 years of imprisonment.
According to BAJ sources, on 15 March, law enforcers searched the editorial office of Slutsk independent publication Infa-Kurier. A search was also conducted in the house of Aliaksandr Mantsevich, editor-in-chief of Rehiyanalnaya Hazeta.
JOINT STATEMENT - THE OBSERVATORY / HELSINKI FOUNDATION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
On February 28, the Belarusian State Security Committee recognized the Belarusian Association of Journalists as an extremist formation. BAJ was the first Belarusian human rights organization to be “awarded” such a status. The international community is outraged by such a decision by the Belarusian authorities.