A number of independent publications have already been included in the list of "extremist organizations" based exclusively on a decision of the State Security Committee, and now the authorities have decided to deprive the editorial offices of their Belarusian domain names.
13 April marked the 50th anniversary of Larysa Shchyrakova, a Homel journalist and local historian. However, it is impossible to congratulate Larysa in person, as she will celebrate her anniversary behind bars.
According to the Belarusian Association of Journalists, on 10 April Minsk City Court considered the cases of the persons who acted as guarantors of defendants’ appearance in court in the TUT.BY case. TUT.BY staff members Alena Talkachova and Volha Loika were released from custody on the guarantee of their appearance in court. The guarantors were punished with fines, since the journalists ended up leaving the country before the criminal trial.
The trial against Kanstantsin Zalatykh, director of the economic newspaper Belorusy i Rynok, was held behind closed doors, Euroradio reports.
There are at least 33 journalists currently locked up inside Belarusian prisons. Reporters without Borders describes Belarus as Europe's most dangerous country for journalists, writes Steve Cannane is the ABC's Europe bureau chief in London.
This is reported by the Investigative Committee. Editor-in-chief of Rehijanalnaja Hazeta, Aliaksandr Mantsevich, is accused of "spreading deliberately false information defaming Belarus and its authorities."
The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) organized a round-table discussion in Kyiv about repressions and the situation with the independent media in Belarus. But the debate among the participants continued on other important issues, mainly the representation of Belarus and Belarusians in the Ukrainian media and why it is beneficial for Belarusians and Ukrainians to support each other despite the factors that drive them apart.
Joint statement by the Belarusian human rights community
According to BAJ sources, a criminal case has been started against Aliaksandr Mantsevich, the founder and editor-in-chief of Rehijanalnaja Hazeta. The details of the charges are unknown since the lawyer signed a non-disclosure plea.
Journalists Dzmitry Semchanka and Henadz Mazheika sentenced to 3 years in prison for inciting enmity
On March 23, in separate hearings, Minsk City Court sentenced Dzmitry Semchanka, a former All-national TV anchor, and Komsomolskaya Pravda correspondent Henadz Mazheika to three years in prison for "inciting enmity" against public officials.