Belarus’ human rights situation has deteriorated further in recent weeks. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) believes this deterioration should be viewed in the context of the grave and systemic human rights violations the authorities committed in the run-up to the 2020 fraudulent presidential election and in its aftermath, for which there has been no accountability. The EFJ joins Amnesty International, the International Federation for Human Rights and Article19 in demanding action by the UN Human Rights Council to establish a new mechanism assisting the process of accountability for human rights violations in Belarus.
The verdict in the "zero per mille" case: six months in prison for TUT.BY journalist and suspended two years for the doctor
On March 2, at 16.00, Maskouski district court of Minsk announced the verdict to TUT.BY journalist Katsiaryna Barysevich and BSMP emergency hospital doctor Artsiom Sarokin. They are accused of disclosing medical secrets, which, according to the Prosecutor General's Office, entailed serious consequences. It is not known what punishment the prosecutor requested: the trial was closed for public. The court pronounced a guilty verdict for both the doctor and the journalist. Katsiaryna Barysevich was sentenced to six months in a penal colony and a fine of 100 basic units, and Artsiom Sarokin to two years in prison suspended for a year and a fine of 50 basic units. He was released in the courtroom. According to Katsiaryna Barysevich's lawyers, in view of the time that she spent in the pre-trial detention center, she will be released in a little more than two months.
The repression of journalists continues to intensify in Belarus, in a context of passivity on the part of the international community. On 2 March, at 4 p.m., the Moskovsky District Court of Minsk announced its verdict. It convicted TUT.BY journalist Katerina Borisevich and doctor Artem Sorokin. They are accused of disclosing medical secrets. Katerina Borisevich was sentenced to six months in prison and a fine, Artem Sorokin to two years in prison with a one-year suspension and a fine. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) strongly condemns a court decision that violates press freedom and freedom of access to information. The EFJ once again calls on the international community to intervene to put an end to the repeated violations of the rule of law in Belarus.
BAJ strongly condemns the court decision on the case of journalist Katsiaryna Barysevich and doctor Artsiom Sarokin
Belarusian Association of Journalists strongly condemns the court decision on the case of journalist Katsiaryna Barysevich and doctor Artsiom Sarokin They were found guilty of disclosing a medical secret (part 3 of article 178 — "Disclosure of medical secrets, which led to grave consequences").
In response to today’s sentencing of Belarusian journalist Katsiaryna Barysevich to six months in jail and a fine over her coverage of protests in the country, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement:
Human rights groups to U.N. Special Rapporteur on Belarus: it’s time to stop internet shutdowns, website blocking, anti-extremism laws
On February 19, Access Now, Agora, Article 19, Human Constanta, International Media Support and Internet Protection Society raised serious concerns about the escalating human rights situation in Belarus, submitting detailed information to Anaïs Marin, U.N. Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus. The groups focused on internet shutdowns and website blocking, and the use of anti-extremism laws against civil society and the opposition — both of which are being initiated by authorities in the context of a larger endeavor to stifle freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in Belarus.
On Tuesday (23.02.21) Zmitser Soltan walked free after having served 15 days of administrative arrest. Today he got out of the remand prison in the Belarusian town of Zhodzina.
The Belarusian Association of Journalists is a registered organization that strictly follows the legislation and its Statute, and protects the rights and legitimate interests of its members. BAJ is a member of the International and European Federations of Journalists, and IFEX network, and we thank our colleagues around the world for their solidarity and support.
Journalist Katsiaryna Barysevich and doctor Artsiom Sarokin to be tried today. They were greeted with applause
Doctor of the Minsk BSMP (emergency hospital) Artsiom Sarokin and TUT.BY journalist Katsiaryna Barysevich were detained exactly three months ago — on November 19, 2020. The Prosecutor General's Office claims, they disclosed a medical secret about the condition of Raman Bandarenka, which entailed serious consequences, namely, " increasing tension in society and creating an atmosphere of distrust of the competent state bodies." Today, their case is heard by Maskouski district court of Minsk. Both defendants face up to three years in prison.