Belarusian Journalists Imprisoned for Covering Protests

The Minsk court has handed two Belarusian journalists  two-year prison sentences for covering a protest last year.

Belsat journalists Katerina Bakhvalova, 27, and Daria Chultsova, 23, were arrested last November while filming one of the pro-democracy rallies in Belarus after the death of citizen Raman Bandarenka.

Prosecutor Alina Kasyanchyk asked the court in Minsk to find Bakhvalova and Chultsova guilty of “organizing public events aimed at disrupting civil order.”

The two journalists said at the start of their trial last February 9 that they were at the demonstration to cover the event as journalists. 

According to the independent Belarus Association of Journalists (BAJ) aside from Bakhvalova and Chultsova, there are eleven other journalists are currently detained in connection with the protests.

Exiled opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya lauded the two journalists for their defiance while Belarusian human rights organizations have declared them as political prisoners and demanded their immediate release.

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