In Belarus, a freelancer of the Belarusian service of Radio Liberty Andrey Kuznechik was given 6 years of a reinforced regime, his wife reports on Facebook. Today, a closed trial began in the Mogilev Regional Court. The journalist is accused of “creating an extremist group” (Article 361-1).
The grasshopper was detained on November 25, 2021. His apartment was searched: the security forces took away phones, computers and other equipment. Pro-government telegram channels reported that on November 26, a Minsk court found Andrei guilty of “petty hooliganism” and sentenced him to 10 days in prison. After the end of this period, the journalist was sentenced to another 10 days of arrest under the same article on petty hooliganism. The grasshopper pleaded not guilty to disorderly conduct.
After the end of his second term in mid-December, the journalist was not released. His relatives were told that a criminal case had been opened against him, but without specifying under which article.
In July 2021, in Minsk, the security forces smashed the office of the Belarusian service of Radio Liberty. Several journalists were detained and later released on bail. On December 3, the social networks of the Belarusian service of Radio Liberty were recognized as “extremist materials”, and on December 23, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus recognized the Internet resources of the publication as an “extremist formation.”
On March 3, 2022, the court sentenced Oleg Gruzdilovich, a journalist of the Belarusian service of Radio Liberty, to one and a half years in prison. He was accused of participating in an unsanctioned rally after his accreditation was withdrawn by the Belarusian Foreign Ministry. Gruzdilovich pleaded not guilty. He noted that he did not take part in the action, did his job and was reporting from the scene. According to him, despite the lack of accreditation, at that time he was also a freelancer for the Narodnaya Volya newspaper.