Sports journalist sentenced to 15 days in jail over “extremist” content

09.09.2021 Source: By BelaPAN

According to the team, a judge of the Centraĺny District Court in Minsk found Mr. Masloŭski guilty of distributing extremist material, an offense penalized by the Civil Offenses Code’s Article 19.11.

Mr. Masloŭski was arrested on September 6.

Officers of the interior ministry’s organized crime and corruption department, which has played a central role in the government’s crackdown on political opponents, searched Mr. Masloŭski’s apartment before arresting him.

The journalist was placed in the detention center on Akrescina Street in Minsk.

A pro-government Telegram channel later published a video of an ostensibly repentant Mr. Masloŭski speaking about the sports news website’s allegedly pro-opposition editorial policy following the disputed August 2020 presidential election and regretting his participation in post-election protests.

Mr. Masloŭski, a 37-year-old father-of-two, joined the team in 2010 and quit the job in July 2021.

Maksim Bierazinski, head of the site who is currently staying abroad, had his Minsk apartment searched on September 1.

As a result of the search, a computer’s hard drive, some memory sticks, white and red wristbands, a magnet bearing the image of Pahonia, Belarus’ historically national coat of arms, and a baseball bat featuring the logo were seized.

Aliaksandr Ivulin, a journalist, was arrested at his Minsk home on June 3 and sentenced to 30 days in jail the following day on a charge of holding an unauthorized protest.

He was not released on completion of his jail sentence. Instead, he was put in custody and charged under Part One of the Criminal Code’s Article 342, which penalizes “organizing or taking an active part in group actions grossly disturbing public order.”

Mr. Ivulin is currently held in Pretrial Detention Center No. 1 on Valadarskaha Street in Minsk.