Iryna Khalip applies for leaving Belarus

2013 2013-01-29T17:42:28+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en

Iryna Khalip asks permission to leave for the UK and Russia.

The journalist filed an application to the corrections office of Minsk's Partyzanski district police department, BelaPAN news agency reports.

“I ask permission to have a week's trip to the UK to see my husband and a week's trip to the Russian Federation to participate in editorial meetings in Novaya Gazeta, where I work,” Iryna Khalip said.

Under the law, the authorities must respond to journalist's application within 30 days.

Iryna Khalip, the wife of former presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov who received political asylum in the UK, was found guilty of participating in mass disorders after the presidential elections on December 19, 2010. She was given a two-year suspended sentence in May 2011. She cannot leave Minsk, must visit police every week and be at home after 10:00 p.m. After expiration of her probation period on July 17, Khalip's case will be heard in a court, which will decide whether she should be released or sent to a penal colony or her probation period should be extended.

Lukashenka said several times (in an interview with British journalists on October 9, 2012 and at a press conference on January 15, 2013) that Khalip could travel abroad and promised to give her such an opportunity.

Deputy prosecutor general Alyaksei Stuk says the sentence to Iryna Khalip does not contain direct prohibition on going abroad. “According to the court decision, there are no obstacles to travelling abroad. She should contact the corrections office of Minsk's Partyzanski district police department. She is under supervision of this agency. Khalip should file an application. The office chief will examine it and make his legal decision,” deputy prosecutor general said.

It's worth noting that under the law on exit from Belarus, all persons given suspended sentences are automatically put on the list of those banned from leaving the country.