PAVEL MAZHEIKA’S TERM IS OVER. JOURNALIST RECEIVES OFFICIAL FREEDOM
One year ago, on September 1, 2002, journalist Pavel Mazheika started to serve his term for libeling Lukashenka. The term of his sentence is officially over on 30 August this year.
Mazheika spent 6 months in Zhlobin open-type prison, where he worked on a power-saw bench. Then the journalist of the closed down Pahonia newspaper was discharged conditionally and returned to his home town of Hrodna. Another year of his two-year term was cut due to an amnesty.
Mazheika has applied for renewal of his registration as Hrodna resident, passport and permission to travel abroad. Recently he is heading Hrodna branch of the Belarusian Association of Journalists. He has a problems with finding job. “They let me know that nobody needs a person with such a biography”, -- he says.
At present two journalists continue to serve their sentences under Art 367 part 2 of the Criminal Code “Libel against the President of the Republic of Belarus”. Viktar Ivashkevich, editor of the closed down Rabochy newspaper, is serving his term in an open-type prison in Baranavichy. His term will be over in December. Mikola Markevich, editor of the closed down Pahonia will continue to pay 20% of his salary as corrective labor punishment till spring 2004.
Information Department of the Human Rights Center "Viasna"