Hrodna Leninski Borough Court Fines Journalists
On 3 November the judge of Hrodna Leninski Borough Court Viktoryia Kulakowskaya ruled to exact 20 basic values ($553) from Natallia Makushyna and the same sum from her husband Anatol Makushyn. The judge found them guilty of violation of part 1 of article #167-1 of the Code of Administrative Violations (violation of the order of organization or holding of assemblies, street processions and pickets, etc.).
Natallia Makushyna stated that such violent decision is an evidence of the intentions of the authorities to revive “Bolshevik regime” and smother the liberty of speech in the country. The police refused to admit to the trial the press, who came there with badges “Set Mazheyka Free!”, making them to hide them.
We should remind that Natallia and Anatol Makushyns were detained on 29 October at Minsk Leninski Borough Court during the trial of the journalist Pavel Mazheyka. The detainees took part in the unauthorized picket for which Pavel Mazheyka was sentenced to 7 days of jail (his prison term hasn’t ended yet). The reason for the picket was the lawless verdict to the chief editor of the “Birzha Informatsii” newspaper Alena Rawbetskaya, who was charged with distribution of the information that was considered to be insulting for the president. The journalists went along the pavement of Savetskaya Street, holding sheets of paper with the words “Journalists are tried in Hrodna!!!”.
Press service of Belarusian Association of Journalists