Katsiaryna Bakhvalava Biography Katsiaryna Bakhvalava Wiki
A Belarusian court sent two journalists to prison on Thursday for violating public order after covering a protest against the country’s authoritarian president.
The court in the Belarusian capital Minsk sentenced 27-year-old Katsiaryna Bakhvalava, named Andreyeva, and 23-year-old Daria Chultsova from the Polish-funded Belsat television station to two years. They were arrested in November when police knocked down the door of an apartment in Minsk from which they were protesting live, accusing them of “brutally organizing acts of violence in public order,” which they said, denied.
Freedom of the press isn’t free
AP – A Belarus court handed 2-year sentences to Katsiaryna Bakhvalava, 27 & Daria Chultsova, 23 of the Polish-funded Belsat TV. They were live streaming a protest and charged with “organizing actions rudely violating public order,” which they deny pic.twitter.com/L1xVok9Tek
— Howard Altman (@haltman) February 18, 2021
Bakhvalava addressed the court before the verdict and vowed to continue working on “building a Belarus that does not suffer from political oppression.”
“I am not begging. I demand acquittal for myself and my colleagues, ”she said, referring to other Belarusian journalists who have been arrested.
More than 400 journalists have been detained in Belarus in the last six months. At least 10 of them have been prosecuted and are in detention.
“We consider the verdict to be politically motivated. Its aim is to scare all journalists to prevent them from fulfilling their professional duty to report on events of social importance in the country,” said the Association of Journalists of Belarus. “It is practically a professional prohibition.”
The US embassy in Belarus has called for his release and urges the Belarusian authorities to stop prosecuting journalists for their work.
Belarus has been rocked by protests after the official results of the August 9 presidential elections brought President Alexander Lukashenko to an overwhelming sixth term. The opposition and some polls said the elections had been rigged.
Authorities in the Eastern European nation responded by cracking down on protests, the largest of which drew 200,000 people. According to human rights defenders, more than 30,000 people have been detained and thousands have been brutally beaten since the protests began.
The United States and the European Union have responded to elections and proceedings in Belarus with sanctions against Belarusian officials.
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