Convicted journalist Iryna Slaunikava’s vision deteriorated

02.03.2023 Source: Служба маніторынгу Беларускай асацыяцыі журналістаў

Iryna Slaunikava, convicted to 5 years imprisonment for allegedly “creating an extremist formation”, reported vision changes that she attributed to bad lighting in the pre-trial detention center where she had been kept. The workload in the sewing shop of the Homel women’s penitentiary only aggravates the situation. Aliaksandr Loika, Iryna’s husband said that convicted women work as virtually free seamstresses in prison. They have almost no free time because of work.

According to Aliaksandr, Iryna’s correspondence is restricted to her immediate family. In her letters, Iryna seems happy with her life in the penitentiary – as much as she can in such conditions.

Earlier, Aliaksandr Loika came up with an initiative of broad negotiations for the release of Belarusian political prisoners. He says that the process is underway, but the case requires “extreme caution.”

The journalist and her husband Aliaksandr Loika were detained in late October 2021 at the National Airport, when returning from a vacation. Aliaksandr was released after 45 days, while Iryna was charged with several crimes related to her journalistic work at the Belsat TV channel. On 3 August 2022, she was sentenced to five years of imprisonment for the organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order and participation in an extremist formation.