The Belarusian human rights community issued a joint statement on September 20.
Human rights activists point out that Pavel Mazheika was taken into custody for exercising freedom of expression, so his criminal prosecution and deprivation of liberty are politically motivated. In this regard, human rights defenders demand the immediate release of the journalist and the termination of the criminal case against him.
Earlier, the European Federation of Journalists demanded the release of Pavel Mazheika.
The famous Hrodna journalist and public figure Pavel Mazheika was detained and arrested in Hrodna on 30 August and put into custody in an unknown criminal case. His lawyer has signed a pledge of secrecy.
Following his arrest, a website dedicated to his activities was set up.
In 2021, a criminal case was opened against Pavel Mazheika, artist Ales Pushkin, and “other persons” under part 3 of Art. 130 of the Criminal Code for “actions aimed at the rehabilitation and justification of Nazism.” The reason was the demonstration of a portrait of Yauhen Zhykhar, a Belarusian anti-Soviet activist, with a machine gun on his shoulder at a painting exhibition on 19 March 2021, the prosecutor’s office said. Mazheika was later released due to a “lack of grounds for detention.”
You can support the journalist with letters and postcards at the address: 230023, Grodno, Turma-1, ul. Kirova 1, Mazheika Pavel Ivanavich