Nasha Niva Freelancer Arrested for 5 Days
Jaraslau Stseshyk, a Nasha Niva newspaper freelance journalist, is convicted to 5 days of administrative arrest.
The decision was announced 16 May by the Central District Court of Minsk. Jaraslau Stseshyk found guilty of using obscene words in a public place and thus violating Article 17.1 of the Administrative Code.
15 May Jaraslau Stseshyk was present at the place of a public opinion poll held by members of Bunt Youth Movement in front of Na Niamize Trade Center in Minsk. The journalist told at the court hearings that he was taking pictures of the action, and police officers threatened him for his taking pictures of their faces.
Accusing independent journalist and civil activists of minor hooliganism, of using obscene words in a public place in particular, started to be used actively by the authorities in 2006 during the Presidential election campaign. Dozens of journalists of Belarusian and foreign media were accused of violating that article of the Administrative Code and served terms of 15 days of arrests. The practice of accusation of journalist of minor hooliganism has been actively used in Belarus for two years already.