Journalist Paval Mazheika Sentenced to 7 Days of Jail
Today head of Hrodna branch of Belarusian Association of Journalists, reporter of the closed down newspaper Pahonia Paval Mazheika was sentenced to 7 days of jail by Leninski court of Hrodna, reports Belarusian Association of Journalists.
He was found guilty of violation of Article 167-1 part 1 of the Code of Administrative Offences (violation of the order of organizing or conducting meetings, rallies, street marches, pickets, etc.). After the sentence was pronounced, the journalist went on a protest hunger strike.
Mazheika’s trial started on October 27 after 3 p.m. two and a half hours before that he was detained by police in the center of Hrodna. Mazheika was detained for participation in the picket carried out by five Hrodna journalists on October 4, protesting against the increased pressure on independent press.
The reason for the picket was the sentence to Alena Rawbetskaya, Birzha Informatsyi editor-in-chief, who had been found guilty of spreading insulting information about the president. The journalists held posters “Journalists are tried in Hrodna!” On October 22 police inspector P. Lenets called Paval Mazheika and invited him to a police station for an “explanatory conversation”. However, Mazheika said he would react only to an official paper.
On Wednesday, November 3, a trial over two more picketers, Anatol and Natallya Makushyn is to be held.