The Maladzechna district court found an editor of the regional website guilty for violating the law on mass events by publishing an article.
Sviatlana Tsishko, the editor of the website Kraj.by, was fined for 20 b.a. (460 BYN) for violating the procedure for organizing or holding mass events (art. 23.34).
The judge interpreted the journalist’s article as if she had been inviting people to join the unsanctioned event.
“It was a usual information note about how the town prepares for the action – on its eve, the center was surrounded by a metal fence,” says the editor. “I assigned a journalist to check information about the action, to find out if it had been allowed or not.”
The hearing took 20 minutes. The lawyer insisted that the case lacked crime components.
“I am shocked by the decision. I did not expect that a journalist could be hold liable for distribution of ordinary information. Besides, the fine of 20 basic amounts (over 240$) is quite a big sum for me, a single mother with an under-age child. It’s a big sum for Maladzechna.”