Journalists Yuliya Darashkevich and Iryna Kozlik punished with fines

2012 2012-08-09T17:16:35+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

In the evening of 8 August police detained journalists Yuliya Darashkevich and Iryna Kozlik while they were making photos for a virtual poster with paratrooper bears within the frames of a solidarity action with the imprisoned photographer Anton Surapin.

The journalists were charged under Article 23.34 of the Code of Administrative Offenses, violation of the rules of organizing and holding mass events.

Iryna Kozlik is a journalist with “Komsomoslkaya Pravda v Belarusi” and Yuliya Darashkevich is a freelance photographer.

At 10.20 a.m. the detainees were guarded to the Savetski District Court in Minsk. Their friends and relatives and human rights activists gathered near the court entrance. The car with the journalists was photographed by journalists.

10.35 a.m. Yuliya Darashkevich's case to be considered by Judge Dzmitry Pauliuchenka. According to the detention report, the reason for the detention of Darashkevich and Kozlik was “picketing by making photos”. (RFE/RL)

10.50 a.m. Police blocked the court entrance, thus preventing the majority of journalists from getting to the trial. Some human rights defenders are present in the court room.

11.00 a.m. Journalist Iryna Kozlik is tried first by Dzmitry Pauliuchenka. “She held a plate “There is a serious issue with freedom of expression in Belarus. Will Lukashenka imprison teddy bears?”, - reads the detention report.

11.25 a.m. Iryna's lawyer solicited for questioning the policemen who had detained her. The judge announced a break to call them to the court.

11.40 a.m. Siarhei Shelest and Aliaksandr Sukhaverkh to appear as witnesses in Iryna Kozlik's case.

12.05 a.m. Kozlik's lawyer stated that as far as the police officers had confessed that there had been no picket, the journalist and there is no crime in holding a toy in one's hands outdoors, Kozlik must be freed and all charges must be dropped.

11.55 a.m. The judge went out to make a decision on Kozlik's case.

1.10 p.m. Iryna Kozlik was sentenced to a fine of 3 million rubles (about $360).

1.20 p.m. Judge Dzmitry Pauliuchenka started trying Yuliya Darashkevich. He allowed her to use the services of a lawyer and announced a ten-minute break for studying the case materials.

2.05 p.m. Yuliya Darashkevich pleads innocent. She says that she is a professional photographer and she was just doing her work.

2.35 p.m. The judge announced a break to issue a verdict.

2.55 p.m. Yuliya Darashkevich was fined 3 million rubles too.