DEUTSCHE WELLE REPORTER SENTENCED TO 7 DAYS OF JAIL
Vital Vasilkou, member of BAJ, regional correspondent of Deutsche Welle radio, accredited in Belarus, was detained in Mahilou on March 23. Leninski court of Mahilou sentenced him to 7 days of jail for “disorderly conduct”.
Most probably, the police were following the reporter. He was detained in the morning of March 23, 15 minutes before the departure of Mahilou – Minsk train. The reporter had the credentials of Deutsche Welle on him. When they saw the document the policemen picked up a phone receiver and consulted with their superiors. After that they continued to draw up the detention report and charged the reporter with disorderly conduct.
According to BAJ press service Vasilkou was probably followed since March 7, when he returned to Mahilou from an international conference in Germany. (That day the reporter was detained when he got off the train. People in plain clothes took away all the cash he had on suspicion that he had counterfeit money. They promised to return the money after expert examination).
Human rights defenders and colleagues of Vital Vasilkou link his detention and arrest to professional activity of the journalist. They plan to appeal against the verdict to the regional, and, if needed, Prosecutor’s General Office.