Wife Of Jailed RFE/RL Journalist Sentenced to Two Years In Prison In Belarus

19.01.2023 Source: RFE/RL

MINSK -- A court in the western Belarusian city of Brest has sentenced Darya Losik, the wife of jailed RFE/RL journalist Ihar Losik, to two years in prison on a charge of facilitating extremist activity.

Judge Mikalay Hryharovich of the Brest regional court pronounced the verdict and handed down the sentence on January 19, one day after the trial started. The sentence was exactly what the prosecutor had requested.

The Prosecutor-General's Office has said the charge against Darya Losik stems from an interview she gave to Poland-based Belsat TV, which has been officially labeled an extremist group by Minsk, in which she "positioned herself as the wife of a 'political prisoner.'"

"She expressed her personal negative assessment of state organs involved in criminal prosecution and justice. She also said her husband had not committed any crimes and had been illegally convicted. She called on relatives of other convicts to follow her example," the Prosecutor-General's Office said.

Darya Losik was detained in October after police searched her home. The 4-year-old daughter of Darya and Ihar Losik, Paulina, is currently with Darya's parents.

The United States has called for the immediate and unconditional release of Darya Losik, while RFE/RL President Jamie Fly has also demanded her immediate release and condemned her detainment by Belarusian authorities.

Ihar Losik was sentenced to 15 years in prison in December 2022 on charges that remain unclear.

The husband of exiled Belarusian opposition leader Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Syarhey Tsikhanouski, as well as four other bloggers and opposition politicians and activists, were sentenced to lengthy prison terms along with Losik at the time.

Losik and other defendants have insisted that the case against them is politically motivated

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