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Blogger and journalist Ihar Karnei is on trial in Minsk

2024 2024-03-19T17:53:49+0300 2024-03-19T17:54:33+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The criminal trial of blogger and journalist Ihar Karnei begins in the Minsk City Court on March 19. He is accused of "participating in an extremist formation" under Part 3 of Article 361-1 of the Criminal Code. According to this article, a journalist may face restriction of freedom for up to four years or imprisonment for a period of two to six years. Judge Siarhei Katser has been appointed to consider the case.

Ihar Karnei was detained on July 17, and the journalist's house was searched. Initially, he was arrested for 10 days, allegedly for subscribing to "extremist" channels. Then a criminal case was opened against Ihar. 

Ihar Karnei worked for a long time as a journalist at Svaboda; he is known as an essayist, author of texts about the cultural and historical heritage of Belarus, and travel blogger. Shortly after the arrest, Ihar's family went abroad.

Recall, according to the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), 34 media representatives are currently in detention in Belarus.

State media write that Karnei, allegedly motivated by ideological and political enmity, continued to cooperate with the extremist organization BAJ, which was dissolved by a decision of the Supreme Court back in 2021, but continued its work contrary to the law. Already in February 2023, the State Security Committee recognized BAJ as an extremist organization.

Ігар Карней у судзе.

According to the charges, Ihar Karnei actively wrote "negative materials insulting the head of state, government officials, journalists and citizens who do not support the unconstitutional change of power. In addition, in his articles he gave a false picture of the economic, social, military and international situation of the Republic of Belarus".

From June 1 to July 14, 2023, he posted at least 54 materials on BAJ Internet pages. Shortly after that, he was detained.

In court, Ihar fully admitted his guilt and agreed with the accusation.

Support Ihar with a postcard or letter: SIZO No. 1, Minsk, vul. Valadarskaha, 2, 220030. Ihar Piatrovich Karnei.

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