Belsat journalist Katsiaryna Andreyeva has been charged with treason (part 1 of Article 356 of the Criminal Code), her husband, journalist Ihar Ilyash, said.
“We do not know what events lead to the accusation. The case was handled by the Homel Region KGB, the investigation was carried out in complete secrecy – that is, until yesterday, 55 days after her transfer to jail, relatives did not know either Katsiaryna’s status or the articles used as grounds for the offense proceedings. We are unaware of the gravamen and we will probably not receive any information about it – the court will obviously be held in camera,” Ihar Ilyash wrote.
Katsiaryna faces 7 to 15 years in prison. The investigation is over, the case will be sent to the prosecutor’s office. The trial may take place in May.
Katsiaryna Andreyeva was detained together with Darya Chultsova on 15 November 2020 while covering a protest rally in Minsk. She was charged under Art. 342 of the Criminal Code (“Organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them”).
At first, they were arrested for 7 days for “participation in an unauthorized protest and disobedience.” They were then criminally charged. On 18 February 2021, the journalists were sentenced to 2 years of imprisonment.
Human rights activists have recognized the journalists as political prisoners.
“My task is to save my soul from decay and give the jail no chance of creeping into me. Not to become a part of the ugly [prison world], but to create some beautiful space around me,” Katsiaryna Andreyeva said during a visit by her husband to the Homel correctional facility.