Svetlahorsk District Court Fines Journalist Kiryl Ksiandzou
According to the monitoring service of Belarusian Association of Journalists
On 14 May Svetlahorsk district court fined the journalist Kiryl Ksiandzou 930 000 rubles (about 450 US dollars) under part 1 of article 22.9 of the Administrative Code, ‘violation of the legislation on press and other mass media’.
The accusation was built on the content of Ksiandzou’s articles They Know Their Roles (dedicated to the activity of the local deputies) and Presidency for Heritage. Both materials were printed in the first number of the low-circulation newspaper Rehiyanalnyia Naviny for 2007.
The judge Iryna Aliseika considered that these publications insulted the honor and dignity of Aliaksandr Lukashenka and other state officials whose names were mentioned there. Despite the fact that more than 2 months passed since the time of the publication till bringing the case and the circulation of the newspaper was less than 300 copies (the legislation on press doesn’t spread on such small outlets) the judge decided to fine the journalist for ‘abuse of the liberty of mass information’.