cloudyn.png
Wednesday August 17th, 2022 10:31PM

Belarus court gives another journalist a lengthy prison term

By The Associated Press

TALINN, Estonia (AP) — A court in Belarus on Wednesday sentenced yet another independent journalist to a lengthy prison term, part of a continued government crackdown on opposition activists, critical media outlets and independent reporters.

Iryna Slaunikava, 52-year-old journalist with the Poland-based TV channel Belsat, was convicted of forming an extremist organization and participating in protests and sentenced to five years in prison. The sentence handed to Slaunikava by a judge in Gomel, a city in southeastern Belarus, is one year longer than what the prosecution had sought for her, according to the Belarusian Association of Journalists.

Slaunikava is the third Belsat journalist imprisoned in Belarus. Belsat, a Belarusian-language TV channel funded by the Polish government, has been declared extremist by Belarus' authorities. It has been a source of news for hundreds of thousands of Belarusians ever since it started broadcasting in 2007. Belsat's YouTube channel currently has 474,000 subscribers.

Belarusian authorities have conducted a relentless, multi-pronged crackdown on dissent following the massive anti-government protests that erupted after President Alexander Lukashenko was handed a sixth term after an August 2020 presidential vote that was denounced as rigged by the opposition and the West.

A wave of repression saw more than 35,000 people arrested and thousands beaten by police. The country's largest independent media outlets have been shut down, and the majority of independent journalists have left the country. A total of 29 journalists are currently behind bars, either awaiting trials or serving lengthy sentences.

Last month, another Belsat journalist Katsiaryna Bakhvalava, who also goes by the last name of Andreyeva, was sentenced to eight years in prison on the charges of high treason — on top of a two-year sentence she was already serving. Her colleague, Darya Chultsova, is currently serving a two-year sentence from 2021.

Slaunikava spent the last 10 months in detention. She was detained in October last year at the Minsk airport upon returning from vacation. Initially, she was jailed for 15 days for posting what the authorities deemed to be “extremist content” on Facebook.

In Warsaw on Tuesday and Wednesday, demonstrations took place in support of the journalist, with protesters demanding sanctions to be imposed on those who persecute journalists in Belarus.

“Journalists are not extremists, and dissent is not a crime,” the Belarusian Association of Journalists said in a statement Wednesday. “Belarusian authorities continue to persecute journalists for exercising their right to free speech.”

The Committee to Project Journalists on Wednesday condemned the sentence handed out to Slaunikava as “another example of the deeply cynical and vindictive nature of the Belarusian government.”

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP World News, AP Business
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
EPA: Chemical in medical-device cleanser poses cancer risk
The Environmental Protection Agency is warning residents who live near medical sterilizing plants in 13 states and Puerto Rico about potential health risks from emissions of ethylene oxide, a chemical widely used in their operations
11:49AM ( 13 minutes ago )
Inspectors OK 1st Ukraine grain ship but no sign yet of more
The first grain ship to leave Ukraine under a Black Sea wartime deal has passed inspection in Istanbul and is heading on to Lebanon
11:47AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Alex Jones concedes Sandy Hook attack was '100% real'
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones says he now understands it was irresponsible of him to declare the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre a hoax and that he now believes it was “100% real.”
11:39AM ( 22 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
OPEC+ boosts oil output by slower pace than previous months
The OPEC oil cartel and its allies have decided to boost production in September by a much slower pace than in previous months
11:11AM ( 50 minutes ago )
Iran, US, EU to send envoys to Vienna for nuclear talks
Iran, the United States and the European Union say they will send representatives to Vienna amid what appears to be a last-ditch effort at reviving talks over Tehran’s tattered 2015 nuclear deal with world powers
11:01AM ( 1 hour ago )
Kenya's election rips open scars of inequality, corruption
In the shadow of a thousand-dollar campaign billboard, one of many across Kenya’s capital, street vendors struggle to make even 200 shillings ($1.68) a day and often pocket none
10:47AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP World News
Michigan GOP Rep. Meijer loses reelection after Trump vote
Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer, who witnessed the Capitol riot days after taking office in 2021 and then cast one of the 10 Republican votes to impeach Donald Trump over the attack, has lost his reelection bid
11:06AM ( 56 minutes ago )
Growing prescriptions help push CVS past Q2 expectations
CVS Health thumped second-quarter expectations and hiked its full-year forecast as growing prescription claims helped balance a drop in vaccinations
10:59AM ( 1 hour ago )
US stocks rise as more big companies report solid earnings
Stocks are rising in morning trading on Wall Street Wednesday as investors reviewed a mostly encouraging batch of earnings from big companies
10:37AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
EPA: Chemical in medical-device cleanser poses cancer risk
The Environmental Protection Agency is warning residents who live near medical sterilizing plants in 13 states and Puerto Rico about potential health risks from emissions of ethylene oxide, a chemical widely used in their operations
11:49AM ( 13 minutes ago )
Inspectors OK 1st Ukraine grain ship but no sign yet of more
The first grain ship to leave Ukraine under a Black Sea wartime deal has passed inspection in Istanbul and is heading on to Lebanon
11:47AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Alex Jones concedes Sandy Hook attack was '100% real'
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones says he now understands it was irresponsible of him to declare the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre a hoax and that he now believes it was “100% real.”
11:39AM ( 23 minutes ago )
French lawmakers OK $20.3 billion to help with rising prices
French lawmakers have approved a 20 billion-euro ($20.3-billion) package of measures to help struggling households cope with rising energy and food prices
11:39AM ( 23 minutes ago )
A look at buyers and sellers from busy MLB trade deadline
This is quite a time to be a season ticket holder for the San Diego Padres
11:39AM ( 23 minutes ago )