Journalist Iryna Slaunikava sentenced to five years in jail
On August 3, 2022, the Homieĺ Regional Court handed down a sentence to the political prisoner, Polish Public Television journalist, Iryna Slaunikava. Slaunikava was accused of ‘creating an extremist formation or participation in it’ and ‘organizing and preparing actions that grossly violate the public order, or actively participating in them’ under Part 1 of Article 361-1 and Part 1 of Article 342 of the Criminal Code accordingly.
Judge Mikalai Dolia considered the case; prosecutor Iryna Padkavyrava represented the state prosecution.
Iryna Slaunikava was detained on October 30, 2021, at the Minsk airport when she and her husband Aliaksandr Loika were returning from vacation. Prior to the trial, Slaunikava was held in pre-trial detention, first in Minsk and since June 2022 in Homieĺ.
According to the case records, Slaunikava “in 2020–21 brought together a group of citizens who, under her direction and control, created and posted extremist materials on numerous Polish media resources”. Belsat TV Channel, a subsidiary of Polish Public Television, is meant.
The woman also took an active part in protests. On August 30, 2020, being in the central part of Minsk, she, together with other citizens, went out onto the roadway thus hampering traffic and shouted slogans.
The closed-door trial was held with many breaks. The first hearing took place on June 23.
The state prosecutor demanded that journalist be sentenced to four years of imprisonment.
The court decided to find Iryna Slavnikova guilty and passed a five-year jail sentence.