Journalist convicted for protests against 'deep integration' with Russia

31.01.2020 Source: Novy Chas

 Journalist Dziyana Seradziuk received a fine based on changed testimony of a riot policeman.

Novy Chas journalist was punished with a huge fine for participation in the protests against "deep integration". That was the second trial for Dziyana Seradziuk. At the first trial, the court sent the report back to police for revision.

This time, the main witness, a police officer Siarhei Astafyeu - stated that the unauthorized protest on December 20 lasted for a long time. In the evening he saw Dziyana near Yanka Kupala park  and took a picture of her on a mobile phone. The picture was not shown to the public in the courtroom.

According to Astafyeu, he knows Dziyana "because of work". He claims, that she was not marked as a journalist, and shouted the slogan "Long live Belarus!"

It turned out, the above mentioned photo had been taken at the intersection of the Independence Avenue and Yanka Kupala Park, while in the park Astafyeu "was unable to take a picture, as Seradziuk turned away."

During the previous trial, another witness, Ivashkou, testified that he had seen Dziyana betwen 6 and 6:30 p.m. However, at today's trial Ivashkou stated he had made a mistake earlier. NOw he claims, he saw Dziyana at a different time and in other circumstances.

The journalist pointed out, such fundamental changes of testimony are inadmissible. She questioned the competency of Ivashkou.

In 2017, Dziyana was tried by Pershmaiski court of Minsk that acquitted her when police officers who testified against her had been proven liars. The journalist claimed her mistrust of the witnesses and asked the court to drop the charges.

Despite insufficient evidence, errors in the testimony of witnesses, and other absurdities, the court convicted her and punished with a fine of 50 base values (1350 BYN, or about 570 Euro).