Deputy editor-in-chief imprisoned for 3 years for caricatures of Muhammad
Minsk city court sentenced former editor-in-chief of Zhoda newspaper Alexander Zdzvizhkou to 3 years of imprisonment in a medium security prison.
Zdzvizhkou was found guilty of inciting religious enmity or discord. The court also included the term of Zdzvizhkou’s pre-trial detention as the part of the sentence term
The trial was held behind the closed doors. On the request of the sides only the resultant part of the verdict was read. A. Zdzvizhkou was guarded. The verdict becomes effective on January 18th, 2008 and an appeal could be lodged within 10 days, the judge announced.
The public prosecutor asked for 4 years of imprisonment in a medium-security prison for A. Zdzvizhkou.
Former deputy editor-in-chief of Zhoda newspaper Alexander Zdzvizhkou was charged with violation of the Article 130 Part 1 of the Criminal Code (Inciting racial, national or religious enmity).
In February 2006 the State Security Committee (KGB) opened proceedings for publication of cartoons on Muhammad after an enquiry was made by the prosecutor’s office of the country and the KGB.
The enquiry was made based on the petition of Muslim communities of Belarus and of the Committee on Religious and Ethnic Affairs.
In the middle of March, 2006 Zhoda newspaper was shut down by the decision of the Supreme Court of Belarus.